I was going to post a vacation guide for families visiting Boston yesterday – I’m glad I didn’t. We spent the past week in Boston – I was there for work, my wife and kids were on a stow-away vacation – and loved the city. We stayed at the Westin Copley Place – a wonderful hotel with pleasant and helpful staff, and a Fogo de Chao on the ground floor. If you know me, you know I love meat (though I have been trying to cut back on my red meat intake) and know that I always think Fogo is a good idea, only to come to regret it horribly when I get the meatsweats after the meal.
Every day, I looked forward to exploring the city with D1. Since she’s 5 now, she doesn’t need to nap (or so she claims) and since D2 and S1’s nap times were right when my workday ended, we ended up having a daddy-daughter date pretty much every day. She’s all of 42″ tall so with her wee little steps, we can only explore so far but it helped that the Boston Public Library, Prudential Center, Copley Square, Newbury St, etc…were all a very short walk away. We especially loved exploring the Boston Public Library – the grand spaces and architecture were a neat contrast with a little girl doing the peace sign.
We walked up and down Boylston St, looking at all the shops and waving hello to passersby – she’s too naive to know that some people may not be all that friendly – but unlike DC, most of those people waved back or smiled at us.
My wife being a huge fan of running and having recently watched Spirit of the Marathon together, we noticed all the Boston Marathon 2013 signs. We later found out the marathon was on Monday when we asked locals what the tents that were being constructed on Copley Square were. Although our trip was scheduled to end on Friday, we contemplated staying to watch the race thinking it’d be an awesome experience for the kids. D1 was really excited about the race and we raced the last stretch of the route – she won, naturally. But we ultimately decided against it since my vacation time was pretty limited this year after our trip to Thailand.
On the drive home, we talked a lot about how much we loved the city. The history, the architecture, the food, and the people – Boston was high on our favorite places to visit and we couldn’t wait to return and explore more of the city.
And then we heard the news of the bombing yesterday.
My wife and I were both shocked and were grateful we decided against staying. As we discussed the news, D1 heard us and asked what happened at the race. “Sometimes, bad people do bad things,” was the best that I could come up with. She’s too naive to know that there are bad people in the world, other than her dad who says no to chocolate, ice cream, and TV. As her little brain tried to wrap around the notion that someone would willfully hurt others, she came up with that profound response that has bewildered parents forever: “why?”
Looking at the pictures, it’s hard to believe that the wonderful scene we saw just a few days ago as we waved at Bostonians dining al freso and enjoying the beautiful weather, was replaced with carnage and chaos.
I couldn’t explain to D1 why bad people do bad things; but I did make sure to tell her that there are also courageous people like the first responders who do good things.
With all the recent tragedies, not to mention the wars and tensions overseas, it’s easy for me to feel afraid for what the future may hold, especially for my kids. But then I remember all the smiling people, the laughter and smell of fried dough filling Boston Common, and that’s the kind of stuff that makes me want to be a better person and try to better the world and hope my kids will grow up to do the same. In the meantime, I’m praying for Boston and all the wonderful people I had the privilege of meeting there last week.
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