A girl’s overnight
Caitrin turned 11 on September 12, the day before her older sister left for college. Not exactly the birthday present she wanted. Anticipating this change in our family and the loss it would be for Caitrin, we planned a trip to the American Girl Store in Chicago for a week later. It gave her something to look forward to, and I knew it would probably be the last year she would be interested in such a trip.
On the northwest drive from Cincy, she sat in the front seat next to me, happily chattering about musicals she loves, Little Women (the book she’s reading) and fashion (her passion). We played games: searching for the alphabet in order using billboards and store signs (there’s a stretch through Indiana that is seriously lacking in signage which made the game that much more competitive), and we played the alphabet game where you name a musical artist for each letter of the alphabet (or alternatively, we also played where we named a song whose title started with each letter of the alphabet).
We listened to “Hairspray” an embarrassing number of times… and sang at the top of our lungs to it. (If you don’t know that musical, get yourselves to the movie immediately – what a happy, uplifting story!)
The Chicago hotel room included a pink American Girl bed for her doll (is that cute or what?). We shopped in all the designer stores, laughing at the high prices (a purse for $7,000.00? Are you kidding me?). We saw an episode of ER being filmed in the square just opposite the AG store. That evening, we ate dinner in the American Girl Cafe (featured in the photo here).
The time away was nurturing in every way. When we returned to the hotel after our dinner, we went to the pool together (her favorite). I sat in the jacuzzi watching her dunk and dive, singing to herself. She’s eleven for another eleven months. I’m glad.