We’ve lived in Boston for seven years. We have never ventured into Boston for the Fourth of July, citing crowds and tourists. After all, July is hot enough as it is. Who wants to battle hundreds of thousands of people? Not us. Until this year, our last opportunity to see the Boston Pops in the Hatch Shell.
Not knowing what it would be like, we headed down at 8:00 in the morning, dragging folding chairs, a blanket, and very cooperative toddler. We stood in line for about twenty minutes before getting our wrist bands and scoping out the perfect place. Our seats were fantastic, right next to the camera stand.
At this point, I assumed we were going home. I was dressed in jeans and a heavy t-shirt. Our phones weren’t fully charged. We had nothing to entertain Robbie. And we had eleven hours until the show started. Instead, we stayed. We had brunch at the Trident Bookstore, and I made my first ever purchase on Newbury Street. Unfortunately, it wasn’t an awesome purchase – just a pink, sleeveless shirt with a blue shell and “Life is Good” in the center.
Robbie ran around like a mad man for hours: visiting the playground five times, walking around the oval; running back and forth to the chairs to get things he as just sure he had to have. By the end of the day, his hair was thick with salt. He stopped wearing shoes around 4:00 in the afternoon.
Robbie hung in there like a champ. It was hot. He didn’t have any toy or phones to play with. Despite all of this, he hung in there until around 6:00. He started crying for milk and cereal, his usual bedtime routine. After about ten minutes, he finally sat down as his last tears slid down his filthy cheeks. Robbie looked at me and said, “I can’t cry anymore, Mom. I’m a big boy, not a baby. No more crying.”
He hung in there through the concert (amazing, by the way – Jennifer Hudson is unreal in person), the mandatory evacuation, and subsequent return to the oval. But, bless his heart, he fell asleep before the fireworks started. The one thing he waited for all day. And, just as the fireworks started, the deluge began. There we stood, the three of us, crowded under an umbrella, watching one of the most spectacular fireworks shows I’ve ever seen through the trees.
Was it worth it? Absolutely. Would I do it again? Maybe, but differently. And with more preparation. But Robbie? He was up at 9:00, asking to do it again.