It was such a bitter cold morning, both Ben and Sam were actually whimpering as we walked from the car to the entrance of Sam's school. "Mommy!" Sam blurted out. I felt exactly the same way, but I refrained from shouting the words dancing around my brain as they were mostly of the four letter variety or blasphemous -- or both.
When I schlumped Ben in his car seat back to the icy car, I decided we needed something to make the cold, grey day just a little less painful. So we headed straight for the west side of Chicago and the glorious, oxygen-filled Garfield Park Conservatory.
The conservatory is almost 100 years old and it is a magic place, quite dear to my heart. I had my very first day on the job for the Chicago Park District at the conservatory waaaaay back in 1994. It has been transformed and restored much since then -- but what matters most is that it is still filled with plants of all shapes, sizes and shades of green.
The Conservatory was rather quiet, we only saw two other visitors--a toddler and her mother who were hanging out with the succulents. Ben and I found a wooden bench hidden in the Aroid House, overlooking a small pond and within earshot of a trickling little waterfall. I pulled off all of our layers and we sat on the bench and just took it all in.
Ben chilled out on the bench, he seemed to enjoy the contrasting colors.
This is what he saw when he looked up . . . (and he did, even though his eyes are sort of shut above)
and then I put him back on my lap and we nuzzled and I told him all sorts of secrets--being in a beautiful green place can do that.