Tuesday, May 6, 2008

To Boston and Back

Home again.

Tired. Borderline braindead. Effect of horrible Dunkin Donuts coffee on airplane now fading. Procrastinating entering orders for my milk co-op into the database. Apparently seeing how long can write without introducing a subject into my sentences.

But in case anyone was wondering, just wanted to mention that the reason I've not blogged in a whole -- egads! -- uh, let's see, four days, is that on Saturday, my birthday*, my two year old and I flew to Boston for our monthly/bimonthly visit to my parents. I didn't blog while I was there (obviously). The extent of my creative production was to work the crossword puzzle. It was a tremendous benefit to my family to have me there. ;-)

But as slothful as I felt while I lolled about the house ostensibly "being helpful," I did have a good time visiting with my parents, sisters and brother-in-law. My dad and Caroline carried on their tradition of visiting the animal shelter up the street to say hello to Rosie the Pig, plus the sheep and horses. She rides on his lap in his electric wheelchair. He's quite a good sport about it.

And among our adventures together was one of Those Moments. You know what I mean. Those Moments you want to freeze. We all went in to Cambridge, specifically the Hahvahd campus, where my youngest sister was playing in an orchestra concert in Sanders Theatre, located in Annenberg Hall. Caroline and I, because I could easily foresee a situation in which I received icy glares from seasoned concertgoers who wondered how I DARED bring a chatty TWO YEAR OLD into a CONCERT, listened from outside the theatre. Talk about history. I had read about this in The Deserter: Murder at Gettysburg, but I defy anyone to walk through the breathtaking foyer of that amazing building, with its soaring, vaulted ceilings, stained glass windows, and its plaques commemorating the names, classes, and death dates (with battle names) of each Harvard student who gave his life in "The Battle for the Preservation for the Union" and not be moved, if not to tears, at least to a lump in the throat. Harvard men they may have been, with all the trappings of power and privilege, but when it came right down to it, their sacrifice was no more or less noble than those of their farmboy comrades-at-arms, their dying breaths no more or less painful (see Harvard president Drew Gilpin's new book This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War for the gory details), their loss no more or less grievous to the families they left behind.

Oh, and try to reflect on all this while following the clackety-clack of a toddler tripping across that hallowed floor wearing -- of course -- her beloved tap shoes.

(*How's this for dear? My son, who is totally NOT a morning person, struggled out of bed the morning of my birthday and beat me to the kitchen. He INSISTED that I go back to bed, but since Caroline was still in it, we compromised on the couch as he clattered about in there. Next thing I knew, a plate was being handed to me. On it were two smaller plates. On one plate was a piece of lightly toasted bread adorned with a hunk of butter. On the other plate was a pancake, ostensibly warmed up in our malfunctioning toaster but actually quite cold, with more butter and maple syrup.
The butter may not have melted, but my heart sure did!)


Tracee said...

how sweet! happy belated birthday. :)

Julie said...

happy belated birthday..very sweet and wonderful sounding b-day breakfast:)

melissa said...

Caroline has tap shoes? How come I've never noticed these little delights? As a child who has been tap dancing since the tender age of 4, I can testify to the lovely sound of that clittety-clack. Also, Annenberg Hall... is that something that I can visit when I go on Friday? Or is it just open for students?

Jo said...

I loved this entry! Happy Birthday, Dear Hannah! :)