We made the decision to move to Davis because of the school district. The Spanish Immersion school was the main goal for the move. Davis was on the list as a place where we could afford to live, have a good school district and Steve could travel. The idea was, down the line, I would work to find a job at UCD. It is close to my family and some of our closest friends. Paco would have a great public education and Steve would be close to the Sac airport. Carmichael just seemed too far for the drive to the airport. And then, if we wanted to, Oakland was close to move to if Steve found a job in the Bay Area. But at the time, he was working independently and traveling for work, working at home.
That was the purpose.
The payoff, whew. Incredible.
I want to spend time over the next week telling a story of someone doing something small, but really having a huge impact. I could write all night. But tonight, I have to write about a specific honor today.
All week, fantastic abuelo Miguel has taken care of collecting Paco at school. I think I may have got him one day or delivered him, but I really don’t remember. Something about today, the weather the late release of class by Sr. Nelson just made me feel incredible.
“Abu” had gone with Steve to Reno on a day work trip. They left early. I took Paco to school, and Hoodi/Aba had taken Lemon (he only cries when I take him). This afternoon, I picked him up. Between the morning and the afternoon, I saw many of the parents that I had not yet seen this week. On the way across the street, a mom (fellow baseball mom) and I checked in. She asked where I was originally from and it turns out she was from Loomis and had been a swimmer. She is my brother’s age, 4 years older than I, so we missed the competition era. I explained that I had the chance to swim in those days, despite my slowness because I could do the 200IM and butterfly. She told me when my head was healed, she expected me at the swim master’s program. She said it a manner that felt like I was wanted in the pool. She was casual and encouraging. This is walking from our house across the street to the school.
From then on, all the people I knew simply expressed a happiness to see me. This afternoon questions about how fast I was up and walking, how awesome I looked because I had a hat on to cover the 40 stiches but was wearing pearl earrings. How much everyone wanted to put a big black dot below my ear to show the stitches as a question mark on my head. (Yes, VT tomorrow you can).
Paco’s class got out late and for ten minutes, while we waited, no one grossed out. Everyone expressed interest in the markers and laughed with me that I was forgetting words they had long forgotten. Paco got out and for 30 minutes I let him play while parent after parent came up to me and checked my head and gave me compliment after compliment. Instead of being babied or pitied, I was rooted for. No one was grossed out, demeaning or feeling sorry for me. Rather, it was being cheered on to just keep fighting away. It was simply inspirational.
I think the magical piece of the community side of Davis is that many understand what the power of good words can be. Today, one of the moms told me “’I’m glad to be in a community not only where you can count on others to help, but where everyone feels like they CAN help. we’re not alone, we’re together.”
“We all hope to deal with Big Scary Things as well as you do. it’s scary to think about, and it’s powerful to share it.” She said this. OK, wrote it. Directly. The power of a compliment.
The highlight of the afternoon was seeing my good friend VT again. I had not seen her in over a week, and between baseball and school, before surgery, I had been seeing her 5 days a week. While I was in the hospital, she and I had sent each other sarcastic, teasing texts that simply reminded me of a good world. She came up behind me with a huge hug and I felt…at home.