So, I absolutely LOVE living in a big city where I have access to just about everything one can imagine! On my corner, I have a Caribou Coffee which let’s be honest, I really wish it was a Dunkin’ or a Starbucks; I have a bar, a sushi joint, a wing/beer place, Jamba Juice, Lalo’s, a tanning salon, a wine&spirit shop, and ONE of my favorite breakfast joints, Hashbrowns. Oh did I mention a 711 AND a Chinese restaurant too! Talk about diversity! Speaking of diversity, that’s one of the things I really enjoy about raising my son in the city, especially South Loop! My hopes are when he goes to school that he has a rainbow of friends and that he truly embraces each culture because we all have so much to teach and learn from each other. I also love that I live near a college campus which gives me access to a track, tennis, baseball fields, etc. So, it makes it very easy for me to get out and enjoy the sun with my baby without all the hassle of this BUSY CITY that is Chicago. I happen to be a very antsy person so the busyness of my city and neighborhood works for me! If I want to hop on the bus and go to Whole Foods, or walk to the lake (Lake Michigan), or go shopping on State Street or Michigan Ave., I’m only a hop, skip, and jump away from all of that!
One day I was sitting on a bench with the baby outside of Caribou which just so happens to be on a busy street and we were just people watching when the most adorable old man comes and sits next to me and tells me I shouldn’t have my sweet baby around all these fumes. Then I thought about it and holy Toledo! There’s cars, busses, trains, etc EVERYWHERE when you live in the city so it’s almost impossible to avoid pollution. I spend so much time and energy on making sure my son is getting the best organic nutrients, uses chemical/paraben free teethers/toys/bottles, uses natural and organic bathing soaps/lotions/sunblock/ you name it! So how do I fix this? I’m not so sure I can, other than being mindful of how I treat the environment.
This brings me to my next point, as I took my son on a long walk today through Greek Town I was crossing a highway overpass with semi-trucks and all sorts of vehicles when all of a sudden we had to walk past a CTA bus AND a Greyhound bus, both of which were stopped so we could clearly smell the fumes. My heart started going crazy as I was filled with anxiety for my son. So I hurriedly passed both buses and thought to myself, so THIS is parenthood. I will worry about everything regarding him for the rest of my entire life.
My question to you is, how do YOU make your environment safe for your child? What adjustments have you made to ensure the health and safety of your child? I would love to hear from you!