“There are three things we cry for in life: things that are lost, things that are found, and things that are magnificent.” –Douglas Coupland, Girlfriend in a Coma
The passage of time is the weirdest.
It has been nearly 12 years since Matthew and I moved from Boston. 14 years since I graduated from Simmons. 15 years since we got married there. The years pile up and I think, wait, what? Everything somehow feels like both just yesterday and also so impossibly long ago. As my friend Seth is fond of saying, “Linear time is the worst thing to ever happen to me.”
Callum and I went to Boston last week for his spring break. He’d been there before, but something about it being just a “mom and Cal” trip made it feel really strange. Here we were doing all of the same things that Matthew and I did—going to the same places, walking the same routes, passing our old neighborhoods—only now I was doing all of this with my 5th grader. We went to the Barnes & Noble in the Prudential that Matthew helped open and then managed. We went to The Children’s Book Shop where I worked the whole time we lived in Boston. We hung out with so many wonderful Simmons friends. In so many ways, it felt like I never left. But of course, I did leave. And so much time has passed. So much life has happened.
The Boston Years were the best years of my life. I loved graduate school. I made some of the very best friends I will ever have. I adored my job. That city will always be where my heart feels most at home. To be there with Callum, and watch him run around the city, feeling completely comfortable darting on and off of trains, and bantering with our friends, made me so happy. I loved watching him interact with my Simmons friends, with my book shop coworkers, with my favorite professor, with Twitter friends, and with my friends’ children. It made it feel like all the timelines were collapsed on each other—like it was the past and the present and the future all at once (it’s never too early to start leaning hard on the idea of him going to college somewhere in or near Boston, right?).
The Boston Years and everything that went with them will always be the thing I lost, the thing I am so grateful to be able to find over and over again when I visit, and, because of that fact, the thing that is magnificent. I love my friends. I love the city. I love showing my kid this part of my life, these people and this place that were and are so desperately important to me. As I do at the end of every trip, I cried when I left. But as sad as I was to leave, as much as I instantly missed everyone and everything, I was glad for us to get home to Matthew, to our dogs, to our home, to our life. It’s no Boston, but it’s still pretty magnificent.