Tree Lights at Morton Arboretum Spark Togetherness

w: Johnathon E. Briggs

 

For as innovative “Illumination” may be, it is also quaintly traditional. DW and I stopped at a concession stand along the way to get hot chocolate and a do-it-yourself s’mores kit. She had never experienced the gooey pleasure of the fireside treat so we pulled up a bench around one of the crackling fire pits on the path so she could roast her first s’mores. My Dear Daughter (DD) eagerly joined in, finding a stick and placing two marshmallows over the pit flames.

An Arboretum staffer noticed our fire had more growl than roar and kindly placed another log in the pit to keep the seasonal merriment on simmer. The fire pits are DD’s favorite part of “Illumination” and she always makes a fuss when it’s time to say goodbye to the fire pit. I don’t blame her. After all, who would want to get up from a warm, cozy fire to return to walking in the cold? (Thankfully, like so many families we saw that evening, we took our newly-assembled Radio Flyer wagon to pull her along whenever she grew weary of walking).

The only con to our evening was the excessive darkness on stretches of the path. The pitch blackness is the perfect backdrop for the dramatic displays, but caused much anxiety for parents whose children (like our DD) tended to run ahead of the crowds. Were it not for the light-up Christmas tree wand that blinked in DD’s hand whenever she darted off in the distance my wife and I would have likely lost track of her.

To me the true beauty of “Illumination” is not just the unique way it fills the air with holiday magic, but how it creates moments of togetherness—moments for friends and family, moments to connect with nature, moments of collective amazement.

Towing my five-year-old daughter in her wagon on the walk back to the car through a landscape of pine trees is a memory just as beautiful as any installation we saw that night. All it took to make was the presence of mind to be present. Isn’t that the best holiday gift?

“Illumination” runs through Jan. 5 so as you step into the New Year, plan to take an evening stroll outdoors to BREATHE deeply, LISTEN TO the wind, TAKE JOY in nature.

Father on,


Disclosure: The Morton Arboretum didn’t request this review, but my family has such a great time at this yearly event I decided to write one. Thoughts, photos, and videos are my own, except where noted.

994 words

12.31.19

Johnathon E. BriggsI love wingtip shoes + statement socks • Husband • Autism Dad • Comic Book Geek • #BlackDadMagic • ΑΦΑ

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Input comment
Input name Input email

To Tree or Not to Tree? That Is the Question

Dad Bod: What It Means to Me at Mid-Life

Ask a Dad: What’s Your Shaving Routine?

Don't miss a post! Subscribe to Fatherhood@Forty via email.

© Legend - A Handcrafted Misfit Theme

Copyright © 2019 — Blank Canvas Studio, LLC | No use without permission

About

Six weeks before my 40th birthday, I became a first-time father. This life-changing moment made me think about my own dad, who became a father at 44. As my parenthood journey unfolded, I noticed that most of my friends had become parents earlier in life yet, here I was, changing diapers and battling sleep deprivation at (nearly) 40. I told my wife, “Parenting is definitely a young man’s game.” But is it really?

Where most of my friends were preparing for their children’s middle and high school graduations, I was mastering the art of the swaddle, perfecting the one-hand baby wipe, and learning to decipher my daughter’s gurgles and whimpers. It occurred to me that I had so much more to offer my daughter at the sure-footed age of 40 than I did at, say, 28, when I was still coming into my own.

Fatherhood@Forty: Dispatches from the Parent Hood™ is a creative outlet to share my experiences and connect with other (relatively) late-in-life dads.

Here are a few factoids about me, Johnathon Briggs, the editor behind this blog:

  • I’m a former journalist (Los Angeles Times, The Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune).
  • I love exploring Chicago and the Midwest with my family.
  • I remain on a constant quest to stay fit.
  • I support charities that fight HIV, uplift families affected by incarceration, and ensure African American boys graduate from college.
  • I’m a comic book geek (mostly Marvel, but a bit of DC and Image Comics).
  • I’m a child of the ‘80s, so please expect occasional references to the Golden Age of Hip-Hop.

As a reporter for daily newspapers, I had the opportunity to interview fascinating people and to test out great products and brands for my readers. I hope to do the same for you as I blog about the moments that make up this adventure called fatherhood.

Feel free to tweet (@fatherhoodforty) or email (fatherhoodforty@gmail.com) me if you’d like to collaborate or have ideas for a blog post.

Father on,

P.S. Check out The Art of Conversation podcast interview I did with Art Eddy from Life of Dad.

 


Disclaimer: Fatherhood@Forty may contain affiliate marketing links, which may result in commission on sales of products or services I write about. My editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

9 Reasons You Should Watch Disney/Pixar’s “Loop”

The 7 Best Dad Moments of 2019

Tree Lights at Morton Arboretum Spark Togetherness

To Tree or Not to Tree? That Is the Question

An Open Letter to Pixar: Diversity and Inclusion in Animation Affirms Us All

Inside the Bubble of Childhood

Dad Bod: What It Means to Me at Mid-Life

A Developmental Delay is a Comma, Not a Period

Ask a Dad: What’s Your Shaving Routine?

Stepping Into the Outdoors of a New Year

View More

About

Six weeks before my 40th birthday, I became a first-time father. This life-changing moment made me think about my own dad, who became a father at 44. As my parenthood journey unfolded, I noticed that most of my friends had become parents earlier in life yet, here I was, changing diapers and battling sleep deprivation at (nearly) 40. I told my wife, “Parenting is definitely a young man’s game.” But is it really?

Where most of my friends were preparing for their children’s middle and high school graduations, I was mastering the art of the swaddle, perfecting the one-hand baby wipe, and learning to decipher my daughter’s gurgles and whimpers. It occurred to me that I had so much more to offer my daughter at the sure-footed age of 40 than I did at, say, 28, when I was still coming into my own.

Fatherhood@Forty: Dispatches from the Parent Hood™ is a creative outlet to share my experiences and connect with other (relatively) late-in-life dads.

Here are a few factoids about me, Johnathon Briggs, the editor behind this blog:

  • I’m a former journalist (Los Angeles Times, The Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune).
  • I love exploring Chicago and the Midwest with my family.
  • I remain on a constant quest to stay fit.
  • I support charities that fight HIV, uplift families affected by incarceration, and ensure African American boys graduate from college.
  • I’m a comic book geek (mostly Marvel, but a bit of DC and Image Comics).
  • I’m a child of the ‘80s, so please expect occasional references to the Golden Age of Hip-Hop.

As a reporter for daily newspapers, I had the opportunity to interview fascinating people and to test out great products and brands for my readers. I hope to do the same for you as I blog about the moments that make up this adventure called fatherhood.

Feel free to tweet (@fatherhoodforty) or email (fatherhoodforty@gmail.com) me if you’d like to collaborate or have ideas for a blog post.

Father on,

P.S. Check out The Art of Conversation podcast interview I did with Art Eddy from Life of Dad.

 


Disclaimer: Fatherhood@Forty may contain affiliate marketing links, which may result in commission on sales of products or services I write about. My editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
Scary Mommy
The Mighty Contributor
Copyright © 2019 Blank Canvas Studio, LLC | No use without permission