Have Twins, Will Travel

4th of July

Boston, Massachusetts – Two years ago, we took the twins to watch the celebrated Boston Pops July-4th Spectacular (though we just went for the fireworks, not the Pops, and we watched from the Cambridge side of the river, which does not require spending the entire day to save a patch of grass). The outing was a smashing success, despite the last-minute day change, unexpectedly early start and torrential downpour. We all had a blast.

This year, we decided to try to repeat that.

The problem is that the twins are now six years old. You would think that six years old would be easier than four years old for this type of thing, but you would be wrong. The reason being, that my six-year-olds no longer take naps. Like, ever. When they were four, it was a rarity, but under the right circumstances (like promises of fireworks) they would lie quietly and possibly eventually fall asleep, which would give them the endurance they needed to stay up for a late-night fireworks extravaganza. Nowadays, the only way to get them to sleep during the day is to run them ragged in the morning, then put them in the car and drive for an hour.

I didn’t do that, but maybe I should have.

The twins were very excited about the fireworks. After dinner, we piled them into their trusty, rusty Radio Flyer red wagon–which they barely fit into–piled some blankets and pillows on top, and pulled them down to our secret spot on the banks of the Charles River. Once we arrived–about a half-hour before the fireworks would start–we spread out the blanket and the kids promptly fell asleep.

Twin S woke up to watch the fireworks, although he wasn’t happy about it. He spent most of the time asking when we could go home. His brother, meanwhile, slept right through. At least Daddio and I could enjoy the show!

An outing in the wagon to see our local fireworks display barely counts as “travel,” but our experience does demonstrate one of the noble truths of travel with children (and child-rearing in general): every age presents a new set of challenges and a new set of rewards. What worked last time, may not work this time. And what worked this time, certainly will not work next time. That’s how they keep us on our toes!