My family and I live up in southern New Hampshire, about 1 hour north of Boston and the mayhem that followed yesterday’s race. My wife and I moved here in 2002, after we met in Washington, DC and live there for four years. We left the busy-ness of DC and made our way to northern Massachusetts, where my wife grew up, when we decided to have children and raise a family.
We settled in southern New Hampshire, which has always been a great place to raise kids. An hour to the east, and we’re sitting on great, sandy, summer beaches. An hours to the north, we get a large, fresh water lake that’s great for boating. An hour to the west, we can go skiing and hour to the south we get all the entertainment and culture you can imagine in a great, large, metropolitan city of Boston.
The city has always been a place to go when we need a break from the comforting slowness of New Hampshire life. The ability to get a taste of the city is great for both my wife and I as adults, and the exposure to everything the city has to offer, good and bad, is important and necessary for raising kids. Unfortunately, the events of yesterday afternoon have changed what visiting Boston means to us.
While teaching children how to navigate a subway system, or to appreciate the plight of the homeless, or to respect people who decorate their own bodies with tattoos and piercings, or other things that you encounter when visiting the city that you don’t normally get here in the semi-rural landscape of New Hampshire is great for expanding your children’s minds, having to fear going to the place where you do those things isn’t the kind of education any parent has in mind.
Boston is the hub and heart of New England. It will remain an icon of wealth, culture, and lifestyle that we look to for that taste of what the big city can offer. That taste, however, has forever been spoiled. Trips to Boston will no longer be about just visiting the Garden, the Museums, the Aquarium, the Duck Boats or Quincy Market and the Freedom Trail. It will remain about doing all those things, but it is now tinged with fear. Fear for our children’s safety and a constant worry that something on what would have been an otherwise find day, will now, just possibly, go horribly, horribly wrong.
That is the real shame of terrorism, that for all the pain it causes in the moment when it happens, that it also prevent happiness and a worry-free esistence among an even greater population forever.