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July 08, 2007

My Summer Plans Usually Involve Milkshakes

Dawg_3 At the library yesterday, I ran into a mom-friend I know from my daughter’s school. She has three young children, a scrap-booking business, and is very active in the school’s PTO. I hadn’t seen her in the three weeks since school let out. She apologized for her grunginess. I apologized for mine. She told me what the free movie in the park was that night and that she would be there with her family. “Cool,” I said. “I’ll look for you.” Before I could rush off to an impromptu ice cream date with Sis, my friend pulls out this awesome notebook she put together. “I want you to see this,” she said, pushing it toward me. I started paging through it, stunned by the simple low-tech brilliance of the thing: a one-inch, flexible three-ringed binder (off the school supply list) filled with copies of the sort of brochures mothers pick up all over town. Bike trails, family swim schedules from pools in the area, a list of free days for all of Chicago’s museums, trolley service and routes, lists of movies playing in area parks, etc. “Most of this stuff is free,” she said. “I try to keep to a budget. I just stick it in my backpack, so it’s handy!” Instantaneously, an image popped into my head. An image of my chair at home, overflowing with piles of miscellaneous brochures and newspapers—reminders of all the things I haven’t been doing with my girls this summer. . . . Oh, well. That's a project for another day. We had some serious milkshakes waiting for us at Superdawg, and I really wasn't thinking about how much they would cost.


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