Boston and Back: Bringing a Daughter to College

It’s been a “big weekend” as my mother would say. ?We drove to Boston to bring our Younger Daughter to Emerson College, located smack on the Boston Common. ?Some bits and pieces:

  • Driving there, we made an unplanned stop at Old Sturbridge Village, in a drizzle, which was a delightful 3 hours, and I refused to think of it as the “last” anything.

  • The weather in Boston was perfect, nothing like last November’s high winds and driving rain (which didn’t keep us away, you’ll notice).

  • We found the Make Way for Ducklings statue in the Public Gardens. You gotta love Robert McCloskey. ?And also swan boats on the pond, pedalled by foot, and fountains and strollers and accordion-players on a lovely Sunday morning. In fact, you gotta love the people who put public gardens in the middle of a city.

  • On the Common a man chanted a sing-song inspired by the passing traffic, punctuated with a refrain, something like: ?people holding hands — vote for Obama — girl eating a pretzel — vote for Obama. ?He seemed thoroughly happy and I wished I could hire him to narrate my life. ?He will help me remember this day, when we were holding hands and eating a pretzel, and yes, thinking happily about Obama (how did he know?).

  • The move-in logistics were amazing, kudos to Emerson College! ?Dozens of students lined the road and swarmed each car to unload it — and to loudly chant the name of each arriving freshman as they entered their dorm — a rock star experience.

  • Imagine if your college quad was the Boston Common. ?Literally.

  • By Sunday evening we were ready for a moment of quiet and Daughter was off getting oriented. ?My idea was to check for an evening service at one of the churches lining the Common . . . .

  • 1) First stop was the?Park Street Church, which had its doors wide open and a Praise & Worship band trying its best in the historic sanctuary. But I just couldn’t do the P&W thing, not right then.

  • 2) Second stop was an imposing Episcopalian church — St. Paul — which had a “No Trespassing” sign stretched across the front steps, complete with a large chain and padlock. ?I laughed and took a picture, but it made my heart heavy.

  • 3) Third stop was a walk up the Freedom Trail to Quincy Market, where we ordered a beer at an outdoor table and watched people stand in line — for a photo op on a police motorcycle. ?Kids even got to make the blue lights flash.

  • Churches could learn something about getting hospitality right: the right product at the right time in the right place really does make great PR.

  • Boston is 504 miles from home. ?A 9-hour drive. That’s a long-distance heartbeat, I’m thinking.

  • Our nest is now officially empty.


One response to “Boston and Back: Bringing a Daughter to College”

  1. What a wonderful post. I can feel the heaviness. And the lightness. I’m hoping Emerson is the perfect fit. (As for us, we had SBC home last weekend. Not easy for an introvert homebody to be in a dorm with heavy-drinking jocks who’ve already spent lots of time away from home in prep school. Ugh.

    Prayers all around.

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