Here in Chicago, I’m happy to say we’re still playing hockey at the end of May. As I cheered on my Blackhawks last night, a thought occurred to me – when did they become ‘my Blackhawks’? I’m from Boston, grew up cheering on Ray Bourque and the Bruins, rooted for the Red Sox (my T-ball card lists my favorite player as Jim Rice) and sat through cold days watching the Patriots in Foxborough. When did I switch allegiances? Did I truly?
I’ve lived in Chicago for almost 17 years now, but I spent the first 25 of my life in Massachusetts. I’ll save you the math, I’m 42. I keep thinking when I get to the halfway mark, when I’ve lived here 25 years I’ll legitimately be able to say, “I’m from Chicago,” but will I be? Will I always be from Boston? When I’m here in Chicago, I refer to Boston as ‘back home,’ but of course when I’m visiting my family in Massachusetts I reverse it. Also, I don’t currently live in the City of Chicago, nor did I live in the City of Boston, but the suburbs of both and always give the city name rather than my town. C’mon we all do it. Only when speaking with someone who actually lives in either city do I get outted, and they always make sure to point out the distinction.
Around this time last year I was put to the test. The Bruins faced the Blackhawks in the quest for the Stanley Cup. While I really wanted the Blackhawks to win, because it’s fun to be in a place with a winning team and the parade is insanely fun, I joked with everyone, telling them it was a win and t-shirt for me either way. My brother back in Boston and I had fun at each other’s expense on social media and in the end, well you know.
As for baseball, I flub that one too. I say I’m a Sox fan and leave it at that. My husband’s family are all White Sox fans, the other Chicago baseball team is like Voldemort, we don’t use the “C” word. Again though, when Neil Diamond sang and everyone at Fenway came out Boston Strong, I proudly wore my Red Sox shirts and hats around the suburbs of Chicago. However, when I took my kids to visit family last summer, we made sure each of us wore a Blackhawks shirt each day.
Confused as to where home is? Maybe. Lucky to have two wonderful cities to cheer for? Absolutely. Even from the suburbs. Go Hawks!