When I think back on my childhood, a lot of my happiest memories came from when I lived in Chicago. We lived in Naperville back when our backyard bordered a cornfield, everyone who lived there was from “somewhere else” and our block had a handful of girls all the same age. My friend’s names still roll of my tongue: Dava, Michelle, Emily, Sharon, Kim, Jennifer… We sang along to Shawn Cassidy and learned to ride bikes and explored our neighborhood while it was being transformed from a small town into a suburb. It’s idyllic when I think back on it. Many of our mom’s stayed home and our dad’s commuted into the “city.” There were outdoor BBQ’s and backyard games at twilight. And I can still remember running into the house late in the day to ask my mom if a friend could eat dinner with us or, better yet, the absolute thrill of being invited over to someone else’s house to eat.
Our neighborhood was a melting pot! Our immediate neighbors were Columbian and I had friends on our block that were Indian and Vietnamese American. How I loved being invited to eat with them just as much as they adored eating my mom’s own “American” cooking.
Dinnertime is different for my kids; our days have different patterns and living in the city hasn’t yielded the same large gaggle of kids running from house to house trying to stir up an impromptu dinner invite.
Still it is one of my favorite parts of my own childhood so I am thrilled that we get to have a playmate of Sophie’s over for several meals in the upcoming weeks. Better yet her visits will all fall on Wednesday nights!
Now, I just need to come up with some good ideas!