I’ll be honest. When I arrived here four years ago, I was pretty certain I wouldn’t love you. My husband’s job was bringing us here for three years, maybe four, and then it would be on to somewhere new. I had been warned about the rough winters, the crazy drivers, and the not-quite-warm-and-fuzzy reputation of Bostonians. I planned to enjoy our time here as much as possible and then drive away with no strings attached.
And then I became a mom.
Suddenly, Boston, you became not just our home, but our playground.
In those early days, it was picnic lunches along the Charles River, early morning breakfasts on Revere Beach, long stroller walks around the Arboretum, and of course frequent visits to one of your MANY coffee shops for this tired mom.
As my son grew, you were full of new adventures. The penguins, sea lions, and Myrtle the sea turtle at the aquarium became dear friends. We spent many hours chatting with the gorillas (through the glass) at Franklin Park Zoo. There were toddler playdates at the MFA and hours of construction fun at the Children’s Museum. The best part is, most of these visits were free thanks to the Boston Public Library museum pass program! (Except the aquarium — we had to be members to check in our friends more regularly.)
This year the Museum of Science became the favorite for my train-loving, dinosaur-enchanted toddler. We enjoyed lunch while watching the Boston tea party reenactments from the harborwalk after a morning at Martin’s Park. And for a boy who loves buses and trains, the trip on the MBTA to these places was more than enough excitement for a day!
Of course, our final months living here didn’t go as planned. On a sunny day in March, life here came to an abrupt halt. There were no last visits to our favorite museums, story hours, or YMCA playgroups. We did get to log in virtually to say good-bye to some of our friends (human and aquatic). It wasn’t quite the same, but in a strange way I think the absence of these places made me realize just how much can be taken for granted by those of us who live here.
These beloved museums are reopening now, and I truly hope families here flock to them (masked and socially distanced, of course) and appreciate in a whole new way just how special they are.
As for my family, we are off on a new adventure. But Boston, you will always hold a special place in my heart. I will hold onto the memories — morning runs around the Chestnut Hill Reservoir as the leaves changed, an infant napping in the springtime shade at the Arboretum, a toddler counting boats along the banks of the Charles, and so many other moments that made me fall in love with you when I least expected to. Thank you for being the best first home for my boys. Thank you for introducing me to the best group of moms to stand by my side as we tackle the challenges of motherhood. Thank you for surpassing my expectations and making it so difficult to say good-bye. Until we meet again…