Thursday, July 5, 2012

Urban Adventures ~ A Mother/Daughter Moment

“Wait,” I said to my daughter, as we were driving along the Cedar Avenue Bridge over I-94 on a chilly Sunday morning in late October. 

“There has to be some way to get that skyline shot.”

A view of downtown Minneapolis, looking west
By Divine Ms. Moon
“Mom, I can’t stop in the middle of the bridge,” my daughter replied testily. Somehow, I sensed she might be losing patience with me.

“No, you’re right.” I tried to sound conciliatory. For two seconds. “But maybe there’s a place over there where we can pull over and I can get it.” I waved my hand vaguely to my right --

-- and immediately I heard a sigh to my left. 

“You know there won’t be any place to park, and I can’t just pull over or I’ll get a ticket.” That wasn’t the first time I heard my daughter say the same thing during the course of the weekend. She evidently has a little experience with the Minneapolis parking police.

“Oh, please,” I said in my best wheedling voice. “How about over there – it looks like there’s a parking lot right past that huge apartment building.”

Skeptical, but familiar with her mother’s wheedling, my daughter dutifully turned right at the light and then delivered the mail, “We can’t park in that lot. We don’t have a permit.”

“Well,” I replied, in a quietly triumphant tone. “What about those parking meters?” And sure enough, to our right was a row of unoccupied parking meters stretching half a block or so, almost to the end of the street, where it turned abruptly to the left. The street turned left because the Interstate, in all its glorious hubbub, was just beyond. As I gloated, my daughter pulled over and parked next to the last meter, which was only about 25 feet from the chain link barrier that separated us from the big road. 

Sure enough, it was my lucky day.

And I was duly ecstatic. My daughter, however, was still skeptical, especially given that the top of the chain link barrier was at about chin level for me, and was also draped with vines, meaning I would have to hold the camera up beyond my comfort zone to get any kind of shot. She hates to see me suffer, and it was admittedly cold outside, so she stayed in the car. I got out and plugged the meter optimistically.

After watching me struggle for a few minutes, my daughter joined me at the fence, but despite the fact that she is nearly ten inches taller than I am, she didn’t offer to take pictures for me. Which is just as well because that was not the point of this exercise. Whether she was trying to hurry me along or merely amused by the sight is difficult to say. Or maybe she was just there to commune with the squirrel that was hissing at me loudly from the scraggly tree immediately to my right. As a vegetarian, my daughter no doubt saw that squirrel as another child of the universe. I saw the tree it was sitting in as yet another barrier between me and my shot.

Anyway, despite all these impediments, I managed to get a few reasonably decent photos. I remained frustrated, however, because they still weren’t exactly what I wanted. Finally, I lowered my camera and told my daughter I’d had enough.

She agreed.

But … as we turned and began walking back to the car, I happened to look back. I often do this because sometimes I’ll see a shot I missed. Sure enough. 

“Aha,” I said. “What a fool I’ve been.” My daughter took no issue with that. “I can use those vines, rather than fighting against them.”

"Aha," I said again.

My daughter said, “Mom, it’s cold out here.”

And sure enough, it was.

Reblogged, with editing changes, from another place and time, this is an account of an actual conversation with my daughter that occurred in the Fall of 2010. My daughter has never openly taken issue with the accuracy of my narrative. But then again, my daughter is familiar with my wheedling. In fact, this account is generally consistent with all of our conversations. 

What I never have understood is exactly what the expression "sure enough" means.

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