About a year later…

I’ve been thinking a lot about the Boston Marathon bombing lately because it’s almost been a year. For those new to the blog, I was a block away from the explosions last year with my then eight-week-old baby.

Tragically, last night, two Boston Firefighters were lost in duty and their incredible bravery hits home once again. It feels like punch in the gut, a personal loss. It reminds me of last year.

This is the first trauma I’ve ever dealt with, and it poses challenges I couldn’t have predicted. The panic feelings when I hear a story on the radio, or walk past the sight, for example. Also, my complete inability to access empathy for the suspect in custody – it’s not like me, but it’s real. I reach for that empathy like I’m reaching for my wallet, but all I find is an empty pocket. Experiencing true fear does unexpected things.

But even in those moments, I appreciate the distance. I appreciate the year of healing that our city has undergone.

Boston, the way I see it, is just like a spunky, loud-mouthed five year old boy on the playground*. He talks bigger than he can act, but it makes him kind of  lovable. Last April, he got the crap beat out of him and ran to his mom’s arms. As he sobbed into her shoulder she whispers, “Hey. Hey – what are we?”

“Strong,” he whimpers between hysterical gasps.

“What are we?” she asks again, his chin in her hands.


We weren’t. We were scared, hurt kids, but we started saying “strong”.  It made me feel better. It helped me to heal – to some degree. And whether I like it or not, that day pulled a strong string around my heart and wove it into the fabric of this city.

My thoughts today are with the Firefighters and their families. We owe a lot to the people who keep us safe and put their necks on the line for their fellow citizens. Boston, it turns out, is a pretty small town.




*OK, so if I’m characterizing cities I’ll make New York a 12-year-old girl who just got back from a summer abroad and owns like 17 scarves all the sudden and keeps taking photos and whining about trans-fats.


The Grow Clinic: You can help!

Hi you guys!
We’re collecting baby supplies for The Grow Clinic!
Operating out of Boston Medical Center, the clinic does a lot of outreach, and is able to serve the members of our community who need help the most. With a focus on infants who have been diagnosed with Failure to Thrive – approx 10% of their patients are homeless according to the webiste, and 85% rely on federal health insurance.

We started a baby supplies drive to help. This was inspired by panic related to the government shutdown. I was thinking about families who need help from WIC and what would happen if the funds dried up while congress continues to…well you know.

How can I help?
– Hypoallergenic formula
– Baby food (stages 1 and 2 – sweeter foods are preferred)
– Sippy cups
– Plastic baby spoons
– Flintstones Complete chewable vitamins or equivalent
– Diapers in size 3 and up
[They will also take new board books, boots, tons of stuff – and I’ll bring whatever is donated over to them. I just wanted to focus the effort on the high priority supplies that the representative said they needed most.]
Bring’em on down to:

The library hours are: Tuesday 1-7pm, Wed 1-6pm, Thurs 1-6pm, Fri 1:30-5pm, Sat 10-5pm

* IMPROVBOSTON in Central Square:  40 Prospect St, Cambridge, MA 02139 (617) 576-1253

tgc box library

What if I just want to donate some money and you can go shopping?

That’s great! I set up a Paypal account for those of you that might want to help but are either far away, or unable to stop by a drop location.

You can look me up on Paypal at erin.m.petti@gmail.com to donate a few dollars for a Costco run. If you do this, please also send me an email so that I can confirm that your donation went through. This is my first time trying any of this and I want to make sure that we open up every opportunity to donate and help.


PHASE 1: Complete

Superwoman Maile Shoul has already completed phase one of this project by collecting donations via Paypal and making a trip to Target. She and the wonderful Harry Gordon picked up:

– Three containers of hypoallergenic formula

– Ten containers of baby food

Harry Gordon being incredible on Saturday.

Harry Gordon being incredible on Saturday.

These supplies were dropped off at The Grow Clinic this morning and will go right to helping families in need.


This has been a wonderful experience so far and I thank you all so much for your support.

Lots of love. Seriously, lots.

The Grow Clinic at Boston Medical Center: http://www.bmc.org/pediatrics-growclinic/services.htm