Danny comes from a BIG family. He’s the youngest of seven and has 14 nieces and nephews. When I joined the party six years ago there were 10 and the youngest were a group was five year olds. I was born before most people in my family were married and can appreciate how awkward it can be when a new relative suddenly appears. Given my own background, I’m conscientious about boundaries and try to strike the right balance.
I try to be an engaged aunt and keep up on dance recitals and baseball games, babysit when needed and arrange special outings; however, I admittedly struggle with how to best do the latter. I don’t want anyone to feel left out but it’s impossible to arrange a dozen consecutive dates. My previous attempt to deal with this was to have ALL the kids over for a sleepover. It was a lot of fun but now I think they’re too big to all fit in our house! I kept to going to events I was invited to in the interim but this weekend I started an ambitious plan to do something with all the kids by the New Year. I’m not sure I can pull this off – but maybe.
I started off with a drive-in movie date with Elain. It was her first drive-in experience and we sat on the car roof until the mosquitoes got the best of us.
Saturday I took Madison for a day on the town. Madison recently asked me to be her confirmation sponsor and I couldn’t be more excited. I feel honored to be chosen and it makes me feel like a real aunt and not just Danny’s wife. Since she lives in the xburbs and doesn’t get to the city often, I thought a day on the town would be fun and went total tour guide on her. She was super fashionable for our day in Detroit and a great sport about walking all over the place.
It was a hot but beautiful day and we stayed downtown for the most part: Campus Martius, the Renaissance Center and the RiverWalk. The RenCen is the signature Detroit building and since it’s free, open 7 days a week with public restrooms, it’s a staple on my tour list. It’s circular design makes it challenging but fun to navigate – perhaps, I’ll remember to take pictures of the inside one day (Madison’s picture is taken from inside the building).
The other must for Detroit visitors is the People Mover. It’s not premiere public transit but for the moment it’s the best we have to offer. It is also a convenient way to see all of downtown quickly. To enjoy the weather a bit and extend our exploration, we walked the Riverfront to Cobo and hopped on the People Mover. The other benefit of this is that the art in that station is nicer than the RenCen.
You can’t go to the city on a Saturday without stopping by Eastern Market. It was later in the afternoon by the time we got there and not as busy but there was still a nice crowd. We stopped at Rocky’s – the go-to candy shop – to get some treats for Sydney, Aidan and Reese.
It was a special day and a lot of fun to spend quality time with Madison. We are both fangirls and creative writers so we had plenty to talk about. She’s such a sweetheart and I look forward to other outings in the future.