When I think about things I want for my daughter, it’s hard to imagine her face that I’ve not seen. I imagine that she’ll be successful at whatever she does in life and that with luck she’ll have my determination and bold attitude sometimes. Yes, of course, I get scared, but that cannot stop me or should it stop anyone from doing what they believe they should. And I hope she always tries to do the right thing, even when it’s hard. These are just a few of the hopes of this about to be mom. I have so many, but I also realize that I want her to at least see where her mom is from. Places help define a person. My daughter will be born into Miami which is such a different culture than either her father or I were born into. So I hope she checks out the place that helped shape who I was.
My first job ever was as a person counter for the USS Constitution. Yes I was replaced with a machine, but being able to walk around the ship without tourists was a fun experience. Often I preferred to work on the world war two ship that was anchored near the USS Constitution because at the time when no one was around, that ship had more comfortable living quarters.
Anyhow people come from all over the world to see the oldest US commissioned war ship. She fought in the war against the British in 1812.
She’s anchored in Charlestown and the Navy Yard which is still technically run by the US Navy is there. As a young girl myself most of the Navy Yard was abandoned. I remember going through a world war two factory and having a nail go right through my sneaker and my foot. I needed a shot from the doctor when they removed the rusted thing, but I never had a scar. Then as a slightly older child, these abandoned buildings became multimillion dollar condos for the rich and famous. This also meant there were new parks to play in and places I could go swimming. (And places where I could find another kid riding my stolen bike and I could confront them to get it back from the kid who stole it from me. I’ve always been brave.)
Next up in my hometown, which is specifically Charlestown, as that’s the section of the city I grew up in, is Bunker Hill Monument. I delivered newspapers to the rich residents who live in the square around there. Thomas Jefferson had a summer home near the monument where he stayed to continue his debates with his frenemy John Adams. So my daughter can clearly see I love history. (I teach it for a living here in Miami when I’m not writing.)
The Bunker Hill Monument is also the place we went sledding in the winter months. I used to love the thrill of sledding, and this place felt like home away from home. We climbed the steps all the time. In fact my two front teeth are capped and broken because as I walked around here with one of my best friends at the time, I wasn’t paying attention to her brother and his friends. Her brother was swinging his heavy book bag and my face collided with the bag, and broke my two front teeth.
Hopefully nothing like that happens to her.
Moving onto the teenage years we finally walked out of the small one mile radius of The Town and into the larger city. One of my oldest and dearest friends and I used to escape our troubles often and head to the Public Gardens to read a book or talk. In the summer there were always these swans and people pay money for the swan boats. The place is truly beautiful.
Once in a while we had to study and do homework and there was no prettier place than the Boston Public Library. I used to dream I’d get married in some of the old places and this was long before Carrie Bradshaw planned her New York wedding in their library. I loved the smell of books and the richness of the place. When I took my husband a few years ago to visit Boston, we had coffee in the courtyard. As a teenager I could often find my sister, Rachel, who decided to skip school, right here in the library. (If she skipped to the library that also tells you that she liked reading but hated her classes.) I never skipped, but I knew where to meet her. This also meant we had a place to talk.
Last I should talk about winter. (Winter is finally not coming in Westeros. It’s here.)
As a child I didn’t know better, but post a few years living in New Orleans, I realized that winters were brutal. I wanted better weather. So in 2003 I moved to Miami and still live where she’s to be born. Granted I live in a nicer place now, near the beach, so for the 9 months she’s been in the womb, she’s heard peaceful surroundings outside.
The bridge in the picture is something I walked many times to head to Cambridge to either go to college or to meet my mother who worked in the area.
So I hope my blog people don’t mind this walk down memory lane I posted today.
One day I hope my daughter sees all this and more
(And I am prewriting this blog post super early. If you aren’t seeing me on social media, it’s because I’m heading to the hospital to have my baby earlier than planned. She might already be here by the time this posts. So next week I will either update that the doctors plans changed or be sharing a baby picture.)