Today between the hours of noon & 2pm felt like it was straight out of a book or movie...
We felt pretty energized after 11am church (where we celebrated our first public feeding... thank God for the privacy of the balcony!). The sun was shining as if to tell us to take advantage of this Indian Summer with a beautiful outdoor brunch. We were also starving (hunger hits you lots earlier when you wake by 7am on Sunday) and thought we had about 2 hours until Elynor's next feeding, so off we went...
Cruising up Clybourn Avenue we had our standard conversation about where to go. Our criteria were outdoor seating, little to no wait time, and breakfast food. We decided on Rockwell Grill in Ravenswood Manor and hurried along as our growling stomach's grew louder. When we hit Western Avenue I could almost smell my omelette and taste my Diet Coke. Finally we hit Wilson Ave., where we typically turn left (or West), but for some reason Ryan continued north on Western. I didn't say anything, assuming he thought our parking options would be better heading south on Rockwell (I was also kind of crabby earlier in the morning, so I didn't want to nag or complain).
Well maybe I should have said something... for as we rolled through the intersection just one block north of Wilson - BANG! - we were rear-ended! It all happened so fast I hardly realized what had just happened. But before I knew it, my sunglasses were on the floor and my stomach had dropped. Then my new parenting instincts kicked in. I didn't really even think about my own safety or Ryan's (sorry dear). I just turned around to check little Elynor in her rear-facing car seat. She wasn't screaming and since I wasn't hurt, I figured (and hoped) she was okay.
When I turned to check the kiddo, I also saw the car that hit us. Much to my surprise, it was part of our dear Chicago Police department! That's right, we were rear-ended by a police officer!
We both pulled to the side of Western Ave. (just south of Lawrence). After checking to see that everyone was okay (Elynor was back to sleep already, so we trusted she was fine...), the embarrassment and concern of the policewoman was clear. She told us this was the first time she had done this in her entire career and she apologized over & over again. The car just received a few more scratches, so we were ready to drive off (remember how hungry we were?). But no, that would violate police protocol. Instead we had to stand around for close to 1 hour as 2 more cops came, also checked on us & the car, and very slowly filled out what seemed to be a million papers. I'm sure everyone driving by thought Ryan & I were some sketchy parents pulled over by 2 cops as we stood outside our car, holding our child & pacing. Once all the i's were dotted and t's crossed, we finally strapped the sleeping Elynor back in her safety seat (which we now know works - praise God!) and headed around the block for our long-awaited lunch.
Our PHEW! day could have stopped there. But one more surprise awaited us.
We were thrilled that outdoor seating was available at Rockwell Grill AND that the kitchen extended their 1pm breakfast policy after hearing our rear-ended-by-a-policewoman sob story. But before breakfast even arrived, Miss Elynor started to stir in hunger (remember how we thought we had 2-hours... the police stop cut into that). Not wanting to ruin lunch for everyone else, and feeling brave after feeding in church, I decided to just feed her right there at the table. Draped with my nursing apron, Elynor happily fed while Ryan periodically fed me bites of hashbrowns and sips of Diet Coke (I still need 2 hands to feed). Though the sun still shone, a light wind soon began to stir. It was just enough to jostle the placement of my nursing disguise, so I snapped into action trying to hold it down and prevent an unplanned flashing. In my anti-flashing focus, I did not realize one of the large patio umbrellas was also a casualty of the wind until it CRASHED into our table. That's right, the pole fell right behind Ryan's shoulder and one of the umbrella's points fell right into Elynor's carseat. Uh-huh - the same car seat that protected her just an hour before would have now been the scene of a major accident had she not been in my lap feasting away!
Again, PHEW! and PRAISE GOD!
What reminders that even on a beautiful, sunshiney day... when all seems to be perfect in the world, each breath is a gift and in a matter of seconds the course can change. Do we live each moment in light of this reality?
Sorry, I'm regretting the fact that I left home without a camera today. You'll have to trust me that this story is true!