In my Chicago family, spring was ushered in by a pilgrimage. On a cold, early spring morning, our mothers called us in sick to school. In early gray hours, we’d bundle up, in red-and-blue caps and layers of hopeful spring clothes, and make our way into the city. The first destination: the McDonald’s parking lot at Clark and Addison, where an extended clan would gather. While the moms sorted through snacks and layers and blankets in the back of someone’s wood-paneled station wagon, the cousins and I skipped around the parking lot, singing, “Take me out to the ball game…,” dreaming of peanuts and malt cups. Then someone would give the orders, and off we were, across the street to where that red sign welcomed us to the Wrigley Field home opener.
While living in Mexico, I joked that speaking Spanish forced me to be far more Zen about life: Since I could only speak in the present tense, I was forced to just live in that present tense.
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