The Greatest Game

All week we watched the weather, we watched the forecasted rain which threatened both the Boston College Spring Football Game and the Sox game we had tickets for on Saturday. Steve and I didn't speak directly about the potential danger we might be putting our family in to attend these events after Monday. I could see him roll his eyes at my implied caution, "I know, I know" I said, "but we have to consider it." We watched the Bruins game, well three of did because a particularly sassy member of the family had been sent to bed early after declaring that she "hated" her brother and I was not her "friend." My eyes pooled over when Rene Rancourt handed the anthem to the fans and Steve said one thing, "we will be at the second Sox game at home since all this started." We thought to ourselves and then out loud, "darn." Imagine, missing that epic first home game by just one day.

Then Thursday night and the flurry of push notifications that alerted me at 5:30AM that it had been the wildest night ever in Boston.  Steve had already gone downstairs to do Insanity and bleary eyed I ran downstairs, "Steve, something is going on!" Seeing a note that people should not take the train I dialed my sister-in-law and woke her (sorry, Kerry) and said to her, "don't go to work, stay home, just don't go to work." I had no idea what was happening, but I didn't want her grabbing her coffee, putting in her ear buds and walking out the door.

It was a very long Friday. Anyone who had a productive work day, hats off to you. I was checking email constantly, waiting for notification that the kids' schools were closing. I texted Steve who was working from home incessantly to the point of annoyance, "any updates?" He cleaned the entire  house as a method to cope with the suspense and anxiety. We picked up the kids, we made pizza, we watched the "stay in place" order get lifted and our eyes met again as they had all week. "We're going," he said. Inside I panicked a little. Ok, I panicked a lot. Then they cancelled the spring football game at Boston College and I echoed another sentiment I read that day, "it's the prudent thing to do." I held the kids, one under each arm on the sofa, while Steve's phone erupted with news notifications and he raced upstairs to watch the end of the most dramatic week dare I say in Boston's history.

& then it was over and the relief was immeasurable. I counted our blessings and those of people I love and care about that endured the stay in place order and were directly in harm's way that entire day. Steve immediately realized we were going to the game. THE GAME.

We were up and eating Dunkin' before we would have even pulled ourselves away from Jake and the Neverland Pirates. We were in the car and headed to the park at 10:30AM for the 1:10 start. We bought programs, "believe in boston" flags for the kids, B Strong hats for Steve and his Dad, and headed to the Yard House for turkey burgers and fries. We sat spitting distance from a foursome of SWAT team members. My kids high-fived every "statie" and BPD they saw. I looked at Steve as we waited to get through Security and I said it out loud, "Vigilance." We stopped to snag a balloon and with Connor on my shoulders, WBZ news interviewed me for the 6 o'clock news and the world got a glimpse of my wild talky hands shouting that it had been an emotional week full of ups and downs and that after Friday night, we couldn't wait to get there. What they didn't air was when he asked if we were excited about the special ceremony at the beginning of today's game. "That is the game today, isn't it?"

We couldn't wait to get there. They couldn't either.

Security wrapped down the street, or so we heard and it was evident because there were so many open seats. We were in our row well before 1pm, waiting, anticipating, and I wondered how I would answer the questions that would surely come. You can hear it in this shaky and unclear video we took at the beginning of the pre-game. Caroline exclaims, "It's the Marathon!" then later, "why are they sad?" and "why are they crying?" All I could tell her was that it was ok and today was a day to be happy.

The kids clapped and cheered and held their signs and flags over their heads and were completely clueless. We had succeeded in shielding them from the week, only to bring them to the ceremony celebrating the heroism and silently remembering the victims. Luckily, they were distracted by those green flags and cotton candy and I never held their hands so tight during a national anthem before.

The family next to us were visiting from Kansas City. Their daughter was attending Wellesley in the fall and they had arrived Thursday night. They were so in love with Boston; the people, the spirit, the soul.

Connor studied the game carefully, asking where the blue team went, who was batting, where are they running, why are those guys cleaning the dirt?

Caroline tracked the scoreboard and held her Sweet Caroline song up high while the bachelorette party behind us piled pink beaded necklaces around her neck and Neil himself took to the field and sang her song to her.

We were there. Our family was there. Years from now, we'll tell them about it, show them pictures, and they might remember the hot dogs or the flags or the train ride. We have the B Strong cards, the stickers the BPD personally handed to my kids with the same logo, the memories, the gratitude, the wave of pride, the tears, and the win. It wasn't a Yankee game. It wasn't playoffs. It wasn't the World Series. It was the greatest game. We were there.


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