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Things I’ll Miss About San Antonio (Part 2)

I had a blog post a couple of days ago about (wait, am I still on the hour count? We’re at 81 now) some of the reasons we’ll miss living in San Antonio. If we wanted to make it all about family, we could easily do that, but this is more about things that I will remember from this time in my life.

So, I will now continue with Part Deux (shameless Hot Shots! movie plug) of Things I’ll Miss About San Antonio

The Walkway

In 2007, my in-laws finally moved up from Mexico City. Carlos and Yolanda are great people, and I’m glad I have them as in-laws. With our third baby on the way, we were determined to get them to the U.S. Yolanda (who had been given the name “Tita” in recent years) will soon be taking her citizenship exam, as will Emi when we move to Seattle.

So when we finally were able to arrange this for them, the house next door to us became available from an elderly woman moving into a nursing home. So Yolanda and Carlos started renting the house, and then eventually purchased it. Within weeks, the house was transformed. It became theirs. And Carlos made a walkway / lawn path with concrete steps. For five years, it’s been a physical and symbolic link between the houses. The kids love that little pathway, and have worn it out with trips to Tita and Tito’s house. And when the kids get in there, they INVADE. Out come the toys: big, small, noisy, tall … and they all will get packed tomorrow. My guess is that’ll happen at about #hourcount 69.

The walkway will now serve more as a divider for sections of their lawn. It’ll probably never see the same attention as it’s received these past five years.

The Medical Center

When the babies were little, we didn’t want Mommy to go a day without seeing them. So that presented a logistical challenge, since Emi would sometimes be on call at the hospital multiple nights over a rotation throughout Med School, Residency and into Fellowship. So some days we would coordinate a window of time when we could visit mommy.

When she was in medical school, this sometimes included trips to a small park just outside the hospital. It was a great space for the kids to run around and play with us during the breaks Emi had from her grueling schedule. And med school was just the tip of the iceberg. Residency took grueling to a new level. Some people may complain about working too hard, but let me be frank: watching my wife go through 10 years of postgraduate training to get to this point, working 80-hour weeks (sometimes more) with 30-hour call nights, especially dealing with the stress of what goes on in intensive care settings of a hospital … I have seen what hard work is. Ladies and gentlemen, my wife. I am so freaking proud of her that she got this amazing job in an amazing city. Nine days until we’re in Seattle.

Emi Last Day in Medical Center, UTHSCSAMany of those nights were a quick kiss and cuddle but we tried our best to spend some time with mommy.

The Medical Center has obviously been a central place for Emi, but the kids and I will have lots of memories there. And while UH, UTHSCSA and Santa Rosa all have their unique memories, the things that happened at Methodist Hospital (three times) are the best things I will take from the Medical Center.

“About” San Antonio

I’ve already set the precedent for this piece in the first part of this post. I don’t mind expanding this list to towns and cities within easy driving distance from San Antonio. So I wanted to include mention of local towns and spots around town that we found in our regular daytrips.

There’s the Pipe Creek Christmas Tree Farm The University of Texas at Austin  … Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop in Austin … the Gristmill in Gruene … Poteet Strawberry Festival … Love Creek Apple Orchard and The Great Hill Country Pumpkin Patch AGS Cake Supplies … New Braunfels Children’s Museum (McKenna Children’s Museum) … Brackenridge Parkthe Zoo … the Witte MuseumSan Antonio Missions games with Ballapeño and Henry the Puffy Taco …

 The Teachers

Throughout the years, each of our kids have had amazing experiences with different teachers. We had the kids go through Rainbow Station Learning Center from 6 months until they got to Kindergarten. This was a great establishment (highly recommended) and we trusted them with our children for six consecutive years. When Eric Anthony was less than a year, we took him to a different facility with a teacher, Natalie, that we still fondly remember. Since then, he’s been lucky enough to have great public school teachers as well at Scobee Elementary. We give SO MUCH credit to Kathleen Gorsche, the Scobee principal who was a great advocate for the kids, and whom we always trusted did everything she could for the benefit of the kids.

Eric Anthony will start 4th grade at Blaine Elementary when we get to Seattle. Anya will go into first grade. She excelled with Ms. Cisneros, as did Eric Anthony. Donna D’Angelo was especially sweet as their GT teacher, and even brought Eric Anthony a complete set of World Book Encyclopedias (a development which enthralled him) to take home.

William will enter Kindergarten, but had great care of the Rainbow Station teachers, from Amanda in Gold Room to Ms. Tonya in the Satellite infant room. Tonya quickly found that as an infant, William was making rhythms. He was enthralled by making music and drumming.

At Rainbow Station, we also loved infant room’s Mrs. Anna Ihle, who every day would have “salon time” with Anya and would do her little tufts of hair into ponytails. Anna was sort of like my Yoda for helping me do something with Anya’s hair. There is no try. There is only hairdo.

And Last But Not Least …

How to wrap this up? I think what I will most take from Texas is not a specific memory of a time or place. But I will remember it as the time I learned how to be a husband and a father. I learned to work on my own and to be successful out of the gates. During these 11 years in Texas, we strengthened and developed. I will remember buying a home. Being let go. Adapting to the responsibilities that come with so many lives. I learned that I need to keep on learning and improving. Except for my Guacamole. That’s beyond improvement.

SO! There we go. There are 10 things that I will truly miss and want to remember about our ten years in San Antonio. Next stop Seattle … the journey begins soon. #hourcount 80