Chicago has been beautiful, before noon on Friday I took some time to sit in the shade beneath a tree in the park, a light breeze fluttering the pages of my book and dappled sunlight pouring through the branches before resting on my sandal-clad toes. I’m finishing up The Book Thief, and although I wasn’t sure about it at first (I’m more than halfway through now) it seems to have grown on me.
I’ve been trying to come up with a reading list for the summer, and one for Mikey too. When it gets too hot outside we can hide in the cool shade of my bedroom, our book selections spread out over the sheets. Meridian the cat will join us too, laying out in the small sliver of sunshine that leaks through the curtains. Meridian brought a respiratory infection home with her from the shelter, so our quiet reading is punctuated with cat sneezes. She hasn’t been very happy with me since our trip to the vet on Tuesday, nor has she been particularly impressed with my new occupation as chief-medicine-giver, but she’ll tolerate my presence for now.
In the evenings she has taken to sitting with Mikey for his bedtime story and curling up at the foot of his bed while he falls asleep. His underwear drawer beside the bed became her favourite hiding place, forcing us to relocate his underwear and to fill the drawer with blankets instead.
Mikey and I will be leaving next week to stay with my parents in England for three weeks. I feel as I often do right before a visit to the country I called home for twenty years. I’m looking forward to being able to spend time with my family, I’ll enjoy eating food that I remember and knowing where to go to buy jeans that fit (something I have yet to work out here). I’ll miss my husband, who is staying behind, and I’ll miss this home.
I’ll be told about how I sound American now (stateside I sound British) In reality I am perpetually trapped somewhere between the two. Naomi puts it more eloquently than I am ever able to.
Despite these somewhat mixed feelings, I am happy to be able to visit again and I know that Mikey has been excited ever since I first told him we would be going, back in May.