5/21/16 Woburn, MA
I woke up before 6 without an alarm clock. It’s an hour later and the shades are still drawn, snores are emanating from one bed and my wife is in the same position when she fell asleep next to me. I’ve learned on this trip that my father missed his calling since he would have been a perfect project manager. He is the epitome of anal retentive. He is the one who is set on the intricate details that could drive someone like me…bonkers. This was the first trip which our parents joined us. The occasion, their first grandchild was graduating college. Before I describe the event I have to share some of the dialogue between my father and myself. If you don’t know anything about me, I will tell you – I can survive on the spare of moment and take off on a business trip or a weekend without much planning. For work, I can be called out to make a meeting which will mean an overnight. It’s not a big deal. I pack and go. I have to say I am surprised my parents made the trip and very happy they did. My parents planned to take Amtrak to Boston. They wanted to be assured that Amanda would meet them. She did. Two weeks before the trip, my father wanted to know where our hotel was. It’s in Woburn. Another call, do you know if they will hold the reservation after six PM, since we may get in after six. Yes, they will hold the room. It’s reserved. Another call, do they have two beds since your mother snores. I will make sure they have two beds. Another call, what is Amanda’s cell? He called me last Sunday, do you have a paper and pen? Yes. I want you to take down our cell number. Dad, you can call my cell and your number will be in my phone. He didn’t understand. Well, take it down anyway. I did. I finally said to my father, if this trip was too much for you, we would understand if you could not make it. No, I am fine. We want to be there. So, I was surprised when I learned my parents were heading up to Boston. For the record, I tried to call my father on his $5 subscription cell phone – he did not pick up when I called to make sure they were alright while they were making our way up here on Thursday. Dad told Amanda he added “minutes” for the weekend. Everything is set for today. Breakfast at 9:30, so most of us can sleep in. Back to the hotel and leave by 12:00 since their train leaves from Boston at 1:40. No problem, we got it.
Yesterday, the sun was out and it was a warm day in Boston. It was a good day for graduation ceremonies, and especially from Simmons College. The day started out early. Amanda had to be at the site by 9:30 which meant we left the hotel by 7:45. My parents were the first in the lobby. Dad explained he was never late for a ship. We packed into the minivan. Dad sat next to me and my mother with her nerves and genuflections sat in the back. At one time I looked back and saw both hands raised to the sky as she prayed. We hit rush hour traffic and found the grace of the HOV till we were in a short distance for the exit. We made it on time. Parking was $40. Who cares, they got us and it’s too late. Made it on time. Mo Cheeks forgot her tassel. They sold tassels and sweat shirts ($40) Bella looked cold, but Ma used it since Bella said she didn’t need it. The ceremony was incredible. Michelle Alexander gave the commencement address which had an impactful message on the justice system in America that has become a vehicle for racial control.
After lunch, my in-laws drove my parents to BaBoo where we rented a room for lunch. The food was delicious. A few of Amanda’s friends joined us. Afterwards, we walked down to the water and sat on the ledge. There was a sail boat race or practice since all the boats were from Harvard. Jets were taking off from Logan and the day turned out fine…just as I expected.