Skip to main content

Rediscovering home

A colleague made the observation that people who are from Detroit, if they still live in the area or not, seem to always refer to the city as home in a way she's never experienced in the states.

It was an observation that makes sense to me, and while I wasn't born here, Detroit is home. If we ever leave, and I have no idea why we would, I would be one of those people my colleague was referring to, one that will always call Detroit home. This sometimes crazy, often misunderstood and always underestimated city has a way of working its way into your heart.

After 15 years of living in the city, it is also easy to become stuck in a routine and stop observing the little things that make the city beautiful. This is where The Kid comes in. She doesn't have my baggage and doesn't care about the history. When I remind myself to put down my phone and start watching her experience the city, I become even more impressed with this place.

Monday night was a great example of that. I've driven past the Scott Fountain on Belle Isle more times than I can count, and we had driven out that night to see the city skyline just before the sun set for the night. As we were walking back to the car, she saw the fountain and insisted on running around the reflecting pool to get to the fountain.

I don't remember ever seeing the fountain with colored lights and the effect of the lights was mesmerizing. It was worth the sore hamstrings I gained the next day to see the fountain, and the look on her face with each new color combination. It was worth her tears as we left because we were already late for bedtime, because the beautiful fountain was all she wanted to talk about on the way home. It was worth it because of the excitement in her voice, and the chance to experience home in a new way.

Today evoked similar feelings. The Kid is on a two-week break between summer camp and the start of pre-school, so I took today off to spell grandma, who is helping us fill in our child-care gaps. I did my best to ignore my phone, and just watch her experience more the city for the first time.

Watching her politely interact with the owner of Motor City Java & Tea house, dance while The Vonneguts played at Campus Martius during lunch with Momma, get drenched in the fountain on the Detroit Riverfront behind the RenCen and ride the carousel at Rivard Plaza did my heart good. I know we have a good kid on our hands, with a creative mind and a tender heart. I know we live in a city that has a lot going for it if you stop long enough to look.

I have a front row seat to the city's issues, and there is no minimizing those issues. I also have a front row seat to the work being done to make our city government work better for Detroiters. What I haven't done enough of is take advantage of a three year-old's front seat perspective of the city. I'm glad I've been doing more of that lately, and rediscovering some of what makes this city feel like home.    


Popular posts from this blog

The value of keeping an old-school journal

I started journaling a few years ago as a way to get some of the thoughts in my brain out in a less public way than a blog. I focused my journal on writing letters to my daughter about everything from my own childhood to her loving attempt to serve breakfast to our family this morning. The journal coincided with my decision to wind down the number of blog posts about her, mostly because she deserves to tell her own story when she wants to tell it and in the way she wants to tell it.

I also want to save the embarrassing stories for when she starts dating.

Lately, I have done a lousy job keeping up on my journal. Until a few nights ago, I had not updated it since mid-June. Life has been hectic, trying to balance a demanding job with an exacting MBA schedule, family, and my want for being involved in city politics. Putting off journaling has been easy, there is always something that seems more pressing on my plate.

Finally I made the decision to wait one more day before finishing a pape…

Year one with The Kid, the start of an amazing life as a family

One year ago, I was running to the Target in the Eastland Mall because we needed a camera fast.  I woke up that morning, realizing that we would always want to remember that day with better photos than we would get from our smartphones. I was on a conference call for work as I ran through the store, half paying attention because I needed to hurry back to pick up Gladys so we could get to Catholic Social Services of Wayne County in time for our meeting.

I didn't want to be late for our first chance to meet The Kid.

Gladys and I were both nervous. We had seen a few pictures during our last visit with our social worker, and we had the family history the agency was allowed to release to us, but we didn't know a thing about The Kid's personality. Was she shy or playful? Would she be scared or was she curious about her surroundings? Would she cry when she met us or would she warm up to us? Would she like us?

We agreed to try playing it cool when we met her. We wouldn't rush…

My fourth Father's Day

This Father's Day is a happy one while being a great day for personal reflection. The Kid could hardly contain her excitement waiting for me to wake up so she could give me her gifts. Church, lunch at the Original Buddy's Pizza and kayaking on Lake Muskoday made today happy.

I also can't help reflect on the past. Four years ago today, we were at Lincoln Hall of Justice, Family Division in front of Judge Christopher Dingell to finalize The Kid's adoption.

It was a strange day. Our adoption could have been over a few weeks before if we had opted to have Wayne County Courts mail us her new birth certificate, but we decided we wanted to hear it from the judge himself. What we assumed would be a joyous occasion wasn't, the Judge was annoyed we wasted his time and told his clerk as soon as he decreed our adoption final that he never wanted to do another hearing like that again.

Still, it was a joyous day. Adoption Day unintentionally fell on my grandmother's birthda…


Ebates Coupons and Cash Back