Wednesday, November 30, 2011

First, Chicago

This is one of those posts that can't possibly detail everything that has happened since the last post. Nevertheless, this post was prompted because so much has happened. We are going to stick to some highlights. This might be a two-parter.

Thanksgiving was lovely and low key. I have no pictures.

Friday after Thanksgiving we headed to Chicago for an Aikido seminar. Evie got to train with Mitsugi Saotome Sensei, a man who lived with the founder of Aikido for 15 years. Saotome Sensei is 75, looks 50 but smokes like a chimney so who know how long he'll be around. The dojo in Chicago was the most beautiful I have seen so far.

There were close to 60 people there. Surprise, surprise, Evie was the youngest. When she checked in the organizer said, "So, you're in college?" Evie shook her head. "High School?" Head shake. "Middle school?" Evie says, "I'm 11. I don't go to school." Bug eyes from the organizer. We later hear from him that Evie has blown everyone away, they can't believe her power and focus, technique, yada, yada, yada. He warns us of burn-out. We tell him this was all her idea, we just drive her places. Bug eyes again. I think they will remember her.

While Evie was aikido-izing, Scott and I explored the city. We went to the Field Museum to a disappointing exhibit on Ants and the Museum of Science and Technology for a fantastic permanent exhibit about the space program. Scott go to see an real Apollo 8 capsule, something he has always wanted. We took trains and buses and had a blast. Evie got to be on her own in the big city during breaks. She chose to go to a bakery for lunch near the dojo and read her book. I was a little worried that the seminar organizer knew she was 11, I was hoping he wasn't going to swoop in and tell her she has to "find an adult" or something. I will admit I was slightly nervous about turning my daughter loose in a strange city for hours but interestingly I wasn't nervous about HER, I was nervous about other people. She loved it and gained a lot of confidence eventhough she didn't venture too far from the dojo.

Who-ville gingerbread village at The Museum of Science and Technology

One panel of an exhibit on shoes at the Field Museum

We stayed with old friends from Madison. We had so much fun with them, playing Bananagrams, eating and laughing our heads off. I really do love the energy of 8 and 11 year old boys! On Sunday they told us where their favorite panaderia was, so Scott and I went to get Mexican pastries and tamales for breakfast. I shyly used my Spanish--I gotta get more practice.

It was a short, great trip.


Stephanie said...

I so love Amazing Evie stories. :)

sarah in the woods said...

What a wonderful testimony to not going to school! Sounds like a fantastic trip.