Baby sitting

Mom was the eldest of six children. They all flung themselves out of Chicago during the 1950s and landed in suburbs, into split level houses and ranch houses, where their combined 22 offspring sprung. I don’t know if Mom and her sibs missed the 6-flat on Lawndale or the Berwyn bungalow where they grew up. I know they saw a lot of each other once they didn’t have to share a bathroom anymore.

We, the Elmhurst Larsons drove over to the Lombard Brachs, the Bensenville Janaceks, the Downers Grove, Mount Prospect and Arlington Heights Jandas pretty often so we could sit at each other’s kitchen tables.

Ours was a table clan. Although there was the playing of tag, the swimming in backyard pools, the playing of the piano and the singing along with the playing of the piano; it was the table and talking around it that was our constant. If we had a family crest, it would feature a kitchen table.

Clearly, this should spawn memory of what was talked about but I do not recall. The grownups talked. Since we didn’t have to be at the table, my cousins and I settled onto our folks like ship’s barnacles and listened. Politics? Religion? Current affairs? Gossip? Opera? Philosophy? Stories? Argument? Insight? Morality?

I don’t know; but it’s my favorite memory.

About Mrs. Fitz

Hello! I'm Michele Fitzpatrick, a Chicago writer. Like our town, a work in progress. As a journalist, teacher and writing coach I think all of us live our stories and sharing them creates moments that remind us we're connected. And that is enough.
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