She kept blinking.
Deliberate, lingering blinks that drew the corners of her lips up and furrowed her brow and crumpled her cheeks into layers of creases.
We’d left our beige bubble to venture to the museum, on our way to a scheduled workshop that would result in a Girl Scout badge. She brought a book but let it sit in her lap when I let her ride shotgun. It teetered, opened and waiting, as she watched the changing landscape.
She loves the skyline and the buildings along I35 as it curves past Cambridge Circle. I don’t think the view is anything spectacular, but that’s because I judge this skyline by my memory of Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive. I don’t share that with her because I can’t stand to tarnish her happy. Instead we chatter about how things look different as we move from suburb to city.
The blinking starts then, with the buildings. I don’t say anything and I don’t ask, mostly because I’m not sure what she’s doing and I don’t want to make her feel self conscious. Instead, I watch her face as we exit on Broadway and she sees the murals.
I realize too late that I should have exited on Shawnee Mission Parkway to go to the Plaza but instead drove downtown. The detour is a gift, and the u-turn that takes us right up to The Kauffman Center is like a field trip in itself, as she giggles and says “I love this! I love the city. When can we go to something there, so I can see the inside, too?”
We whip back onto Broadway and she says ‘I’m going to take a picture of this, Mom, so I can remember it later.’
‘Sorry, sweets, I need my phone for directions to make sure we don’t get lost again,’ I say.
‘I don’t need your phone, mom.’