What does being a Madison mom (or dad) mean to YOU?
For me, it means:
Trying to look cute but, how does John Wick put it?, tactical at Costco.
Rooting for the Badgers, even if you don’t like football, basketball, soccer, or…bocce ball?
Always having Prairie Fume and Spotted Cow in stock.
Being painfully familiar with the Madison Children’s Museum.
Dodging end-of-winter potholes with Jedi-like skills.
Taking advantage of every city park within a 20-mile radius because free entertainment.
Rejoicing when at least one of your kids says he likes cheese.
Making a beeline to Target the minute a Packers game starts and pretending you’re a celebrity and the store has been cleared out just for you.
Never going out to eat on a Friday night because you hate the smell of fish.
The kids being jaded by seeing squawking cranes and territorial wild turkeys in the backyard. It’s just a regular Wednesday morning for them.
Tempting fate by taking your kids to school when the streets and sidewalks are covered in sheer ice, because Madison schools are hardcore.
Considering it a road trip to drive to the East side (from the West side) and vice versa…and packing accordingly.
Chasing the kids through Olbrich Botanical Gardens but really wishing you were there alone to be able to look at every single flower and plant. Same with the Henry Vilas Zoo.
Bloody Marys: Not just for brunch.
Rewarding the kids with a sconut for making it through the local farmers’ market, because they don’t care about or want to know how artisanal honey or 15 varieties of tomatoes are made.
Walking down the street in a completely different country and, amazingly enough, hearing someone yell out, “On Wisconsin! Go Bucky!” when he sees your husband’s Wisconsin T-shirt.
Dreaming of the next time you get to go to Door County.
Considering a trip to Brennan’s “an outing” because of all the free snacks, er, samples.
Savoring a well-deserved break from being a mom at The Chazen Museum of Art. Bonus if you can snag a girlfriend to break away with you.
The kids knowing the way to Grandma’s house based on which barn you pass.
Always ordering the fried cheese curds at Culver’s because even the kid who doesn’t like cheese loves those cheese curds!
Enjoying the splendor of nature and turkey-sightings at the UW Arboretum.
Making the 40-minute drive to Sassy Cow Creamery just to have the ice cream on site.
Reveling in the flowers and ponds at the Allen Centennial Garden.
Letting the kids explore all of the fabulous public libraries.
Summertime parades, where the kids get at least a year’s worth of free candy.
Splash pads—All. Summer. Long.
Dipping your toes in the lake at the Memorial Union and devouring Babcock Hall ice cream on the hottest summer day.
Strawberry-picking, raspberry-picking, apple-picking, and pumpkin-picking anywhere you can get them, which is pretty much everywhere.
Feeling sad when you have to replace the front screen door with the storm door because Winter is Coming.
Boots and flip-flops sharing space in the front closet all year-round.
Taking the kids to the Monona Terrace in the dead of winter to let them run indoors and see the frozen Lake Monona from above.
Date nights downtown. We like to start off with a cocktail at Tempset Oyster Bar and then have dinner at the restaurant du jour on the Square. Extra-special date nights taking in a play, musical, or other performance at the Overture Center. Some stand-out favorites have been Jerry Seinfeld, David Sedaris, Ray LaMontagne, Jonny Lang, Alton Brown, and Craig Ferguson.
Dragging your unwilling children and half-willing spouse to and through Pope Farm Conservancy despite their many complaints of being tired, hot, sticky, and hungry (and, unbeknownst to you at the time, bee-stung) because the sunflowers are not to be missed. Getting what amounts to one pretty sad-looking photo of them for it. (Word to the wise, do NOT take the upper path unless you want to hike for about twice as long as necessary. There is a lower path that is much shorter and easier. And bring bug spray. And water. And towels or at least paper towels to have in the car when you are done.)
Feeling very lucky and happy to have settled in this diverse city with so many fun activities and choices year-round for families, children, and adults. Mostly, feeling proud to call Madison your home.