499 Words About Our Trip to Wrigley Field

When we walked up the steps to our seats and they saw the huge, nearly empty, glorious stadium, I heard Samuel say (mostly to himself, I think) “Oh wow.” 


Wrigley Field is a magical place and we had magical seats, given to us by a person whose generosity knows no limits. “Do we want Cubs tickets? Um… absolutely we do. Yes.”  


I had carefully packed up tons of snacks in the boys’ robot backpacks. When they were toddlers, the robot backpacks were the perfect size for sippy cups and fishie crackers. Now they were stuffed with Takis and Fruit by the Foot and quesadillas and guacamole and they looked semi-ridiculous on their tweenage backs. “Don’t say anything to them. They think they’re grown up now.” Elias said, when I pointed out how adorable they were. “It’s cute.” 


Our first stop inside the stadium was the “first timer” booth for the requisite certificate and stickers. “This is my first time, too,” Elias pointed out. Three certificates it is! 

We thought we were dressed for the weather, but it felt much colder than the thermometer said it was. “I thought you said we weren’t getting any souvenirs” the boys said when I came back with an extra plush and extra expensive Cubs throw blanket. “Well… surprise!”  It was worth every penny. We’ll think of this day every time we snuggle together under that blanket watching TV, or reading a book. 


The Cubs had three home runs and each time, they played a snippet of “Whoomp! There it is!” so loud the stadium felt like it was shaking. Elias was standing in the snack line all three times. I don’t know if that speaks to how close the homeruns were together or how long it takes to get snacks. Probably both. “Sorry you missed it,” I said, kissing him on the cheek. “Nah,” he said. “It’s fine.” 

Whoomp. There it is.

Somewhere around the fifth inning one of the boys said “I hope Marina’s having a good time, too.” 

“She is,” I promised. 

She is.

“We need to come back with her sometime.” 

“We will.” 

We will.

We strategized about the trip back. “We could transfer to the brown line,” I said. “It would get us a little closer to the Metra. Plus the brown line is my favorite.” It’s true. So many memories of a daily commute to the hospital, and adventures in the city from before they were even born. “Let’s do it,” Clayton said. “I like the brown line too.” (For the record, he’s taken the brown line exactly twice before. That’s enough, apparently.) 

 Let’s do it.

It turned out to be an inspired choice. Quieter. Less crowded. We could sit down. We made it to the Metra just in time to hop on the 4:40 train just as it pulled out of the station. We chose a commuter car so we would have to ride in silence the whole way home. Perfect. 


#WritersWrite and I write almost every day. I sometimes share my thoughts publicly in this series called “500 Words or Less” This practice allows me to explore a variety of different topics in a restrained/contained way and learn what resonates with people. I wrote it, not AI. If you share, please give proper credit. © Traci Smith, 2023. All Rights Reserved.

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