Go, Cubs, Go!

The wall above our piano is not filled with the pictures of composers like Bach and Mozart, but instead a photo of Wrigley Field, a picture of Lily at her first Cubs games, and Ed as a boy about the same age as Lily now, having his baseball signed by number 14, Ernie Banks.

Ed always remembers the anniversary of our first date, not because it was a life-changed event or because of his great love for me, but because it was on March 26. And number 26 was the number of the great Cubs player Billy Williams.

One night, before we had kids, we went out to dinner with a couple of friends in the north suburbs. While we were waiting for a table, who should walk in but number 10, Ron Santo, with his wife and another couple.

Unlike Ed, I haven’t been a Cubs fan my whole life. My dad bought my sister and me a Louisville bat and taught us how to swing and hit a baseball. We lived in Central Illinois, which is Cardinals territory. When we moved to the Chicagoland area, the first major league baseball game I went to was a White Sox game, since they gave free tickets to school kids for good grades. But then when I was in high school, the Cubs started winning and had a good season. My favorite player was Ryne Sandberg, although I may have liked him more for his looks than for his baseball playing ability, since I was a high school girl. But it wasn’t until I married a diehard Cubs fan that I really became one myself.

Lily's first Cubs game
Lily’s first Cubs game


Emmy's first Cubs game
Waiting to run the bases at Wrigley Field after Emmy’s first Cubs game


Watching the Iowa Cubs play in Des Moines
Watching the Iowa Cubs play in Des Moines

Not only have we gone to Wrigley Field to see the Cubs play, we’ve also had a lot of fun watching the Iowa Cubs play. We saw Javier Baez hit a grand slam before he moved up to the Chicago Cubs.

If you follow baseball at all, you know that the Cubs don’t have a reputation of being a winning team. This is finally the year! Tonight, we are going to be glued to the TV, watching Game 7 of the Cubs versus the Cleveland Indians in the World Series!

Go, Cubs, Go!

P.S. CUBS WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!






When Will Chicago Find Peace?

View of the skyline from the top of the ferris wheel on Navy Pier

The story of a nine year old boy being lured into an alley to be shot to death shattered my heart. The fact that it was gang related makes no difference to me; nine year old boys should not be afraid of being shot in an alley. This is a fear my children will never know. There are rarely any shootings in our Chicago suburb. My children won’t be lured into an alley; their father (or mother) are not gang bangers.  I am not afraid of stray bullets flying through my living room.

How can I help prevent these violent crimes? I could vote for stricter gun laws, which I am inclined to do, but many of the guns in these crimes are obtained illegally. I could vote for politicians who will be tough on crime, but I’m only allowed to vote for Cook County politicians, not City of Chicago politicians. What, then, can I do to help bring peace to our city?

The shootings in Chicago are out of control, but violence doesn’t require a gun. Nor does violence only happen in urban areas. When I was teaching in a small rural town, a young teacher didn’t show up for work one day. She hadn’t called for a substitute and didn’t answer the phone. The principal drove out to her farmhouse and discovered something simply horrifyingly. My colleague had been strangled with a telephone cord, presumably by someone she knew.

I just don’t know the answers. I wish I did. What can I do?

Well, I can continue to do what I’m doing. I can give my students a hug or high-5 when they walk into the classroom. I can help them feel safe when they are at school. I can teach my preschoolers to be kind to each other; to share; to not hit; and when something happens, to say, “I’m sorry.” I can help start them on the right path.

Even the mayor of Chicago must have (belatedly) remembered what he learned as a child. When you do something wrong, you need to apologize.

Rahm Emanuel

Will peace ever come to Chicago? I’m not sure it can. But here’s something else I can do; I can hope.

Join us for the month of December with these #SpinCycle writing prompts. Be sure to add the Spin Cycle button to your blog post to tell others about the Spin Cycle!

Week of Dec. 7-11 : Peace
Week of Dec 14-18 : Joy
Week of Dec. 21-25 : Love
Week of Dec. 28-Jan. 1: New

Spin Cycle at Second Blooming
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