Updated: January 22, 2014 12:33PM
We all know the story of “The Wizard of Oz” — the magnificent adventure Dorothy embarked upon after being swooped up by a tornado. But these days, when I tell this story to my son, it’s the part where Dorothy clicks her heels three times and says, “There’s no place like home,” that I truly understand. As an actress, baseball wife and mother, I’ve embarked upon many adventures, but no matter where I have been, or what I’ve done, there’s truly no place like home: Chicago.
Chicago will always feel like home to me for so many reasons. I was born and raised in Wheaton. When my husband David was picked up by the Cubs, it was a dream come true, because it meant being home — not to mention that he was playing for the team that was my favorite as a kid. The Cubs family is wonderful, and the wives and other players are extremely supportive of one another. Recently, we’ve put down even more roots in Chicago: David and I created the David DeJesus Family Foundation in 2012 with the purpose of helping families in crisis while also raising money for ALS research, and we’ve held several charity events here (and in Arizona) since.
This past August, David was traded to Washington and then to Tampa Bay. This is nothing new in the sports world, but it makes life just a bit more complicated for all of us for the time being. When we heard about the trade, I’d just completed taping CBS’ “The Amazing Race” and was lining up some acting projects in Los Angeles. I was traveling to David’s games with our 3-year-old son, Kingston, while promoting “Race” and keeping things together in Chicago. It was an interesting time, and one where neither David nor I ever thought of leaving Chicago. We simply knew we would make it work.
And even facing change, we are making it work. Currently, David is in Chicago until spring training, then he returns to Tampa. I’m currently in L.A., working on acting projects, and will be throughout 2014. For most baseball families, it’s phone calls, road trips and lots of Skype sessions that ease the longing distance may bring. David and I are taking life one week at a time, which means booking flights day-of and making last-minute trips to see each other based on openings in our schedules. But we have committed to never going more than three weeks without seeing each other, and most of the time, we go less than two. Understandably, it’s not a lifestyle many people understand, but I thrive off of our unconventional, adventure-filled life.
Both David and I have been blessed with so many opportunities. No matter where our careers take us, there IS no place like home. And as Dorothy eventually wanted to return home from her visit in the Land of Oz, the DeJesus family will always return home to Chicago.
Support the David DeJesus Family Foundation (DDFF) and Cubs Charities at “Strike a Chord” Celebrity Karaoke, Jan. 16 at American Junkie. For tickets, visit Cubs.com/karaoke.