Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Little Girl in the Big City!

Getting ready to board the train!
One of the most memorable mother-daughter weekends I've ever had started with a slumber party on a Friday night at my dad and Ning's apartment. Madeline put on her pink tutu swimsuit and took a giant bubble bath in their jacuzzi, then quietly worked on art projects (without little brother's swiping her markers). My dad read her a few chapters from her American Girl books and put her to bed while Nancy and I went out to dinner with my former boss and family friend, whose daughter just started at Marquette University. I loved waking up next to Madeline, ready to start one of the biggest adventures of her young life.

We caught the 8am Amtrack from Milwaukee to Chicago -- Madeline was in awe -- shy and excited! We pulled into Union Station 90 minutes later;  she had her first lesson in flagging down a cab. I loved pointing things out to her as we whipped through the streets of downtown Chicago where Rob and I lived for four years and began our married life.

We hopped out at the American Girl store on Michigan Avenue, beating the crowd and absorbing the two-levels at our own pace before the throngs of 10-year old girls made it hard to move. Ning pulled Mimi aside, and in a very special moment, told her that she would like Madeline to pick out a doll to bring home. Madeline was not expecting this and literally leapt into her arms!

Then with determination and decisiveness that I wish was mine, she bee-lined straight to the front of the store for McKenna, a gymnast who is the 2012 Doll of the Year. A personal shopper lead us into our own private hot-pink room and fitted Madeline with an outfit to perfectly match her doll. Afterwards, we celebrated with a fancy lunch at the American Girl Cafe -- the grown ups even had  a glass of wine! Madeline's eyes were twinkling and she was lit up from within -- she was in little girl heaven!
What happened next begins what Ning says could be the first sentence of Madeline's future autobiography. "I was 5 years old the first time Ning took me to Chanel." Well of course, she took her to Louis Vuitton too...

We got back on the train for our ride home, happily munching on caramel popcorn from Nuts on Clark, a Chicago classic. Now that we're home, Madeline dresses McKenna for school every day and puts her in pajamas every night. She made a bed out of a cardboard box, and I tuck both girls in. We watch the McKenna video for our family movie nights (Charlie asked me why "the girl in the stripes fell off that branch" referring to McKenna's character on the balance beam) and we read from her chapter book almost every single day. McKenna is the newest family member.

Not only was it a magical weekend for Madeline, but it truly was for me too! We are so grateful to Ning for creating such a special memory.

1 comment:

Mollie said...

Madeline looks SO happy in these pictures! I can't imagine what a dream come true that must have felt like for her!