This post is part of the Chicago Trip series from 2013.
My only “break” was the time spent left behind searching the Shedd Aquarium for my son’s lost backpack while the rest of the group bused over to the Art Institute.
Praise God, I found the backpack, but it would be lying to say there were no tears. Prayers, phonecalls, and detective work revealed the location.
We were at the aquarium rise and shine at 9. When noon rolled around, buses were boarded for a short ride to the Art Institute.
A teacher took attendance, asking in an urgent tone where my son and his friend were. Immediately they came running down the sidewalk and burst onboard.
It was revealed that a backpack might be lost. Yes or no? Is it or isn’t it? What to do? Times like this bring out my inner 10 year old, and I feel helpless.
The idea of getting off to hunt for the lost item myself was met by resistance from our local tour director. While I wanted to be set free to look and then walk or taxi to the museum, she thought it was too far and I should call someone in the other group that was staying a few minutes longer and ask them to look for it.
I didn’t want to compound the problem.
I wanted to understand what was going on inside of me.
I wanted to be there for my own kid like I would be for anyone else’s.
I got off of the bus.
It wasn’t at Ice Age 4D, not at lost and found. I wrote a description of the item and my contact information in a notebook at the information desk. (I’m pretty sure its sole purpose is to placate tourists who lose stuff.)
With strollers and diaper bags everywhere, who would notice a lone burnt-orange backpack and turn it in to lost and found?
The logical, grownup side of my brain kicked in, and I remembered taking Kieran’s picture while waiting for the 11:00 movie. A quick review of the shots on my camera revealed no backpack.
I had taken an even earlier picture at the sea lion. I checked it. No backpack.
At that time, my child had raved about the time spent with penguins and otters. They were down below, and I would give it one last go and call Steve to keep from losing my bearings in the process.
He listened and talked me through the descent to the scene where the backpack was finally found amidst tears and a fragmented explanation to the young family guarding it.
I returned to the front desk to assure them that the lost had been found. I called the bus driver and waited outside with my ipod for him to circle around and get me.
I texted my mom chaperone friends who met me at the student group entrance of the Art Institute and whisked me in for an afternoon of art therapy, courtesy of Rembrandt, Monet, and VanGogh.