This is a bit delayed, but nonetheless a worthy part of the process. I was wandering around Trainsong Park on Tuesday evening at 5:30. I asked a few kids, but they were under 18. whoops.
I went into my car, put it in reverse, and then into park when I heard six happy kids running down the street. I then saw an older Mexican woman, who smiled the most gracious smile I had ever seen. I felt like she knew me! She smiled at me before I smiled at her. I even had my sunglasses on, so she couldn’t see my eyes. I knew it would be strange to turn my car off and run after her, but that’s exactly what I did.
I found out she came to the U.S. when she was 29. She also owns El Taco Express in Springfield with her husband, but that the roof collapsed in the March snow storm. They will re-open in about a month. In the meantime, she babysits her grandkids.
She was happy and generous with her time. She had the responsibility of watching six little ones, so naturally I assumed she was cool with me pushing them on the swings. It was the most fun I have had in awhile, we were talking primarily in English, since her broken English is better than my Spanish. I felt like we were little girls on the playground talking about boys – that was partially true. She asked me if I was married, I said I wasn’t but that I have a boyfriend I wouldn’t mind marrying. She smiled, half-laughed, and said something like, “Of course.” I just understood her, and I think she understood me.
I told her I’d return to ask her more questions and to take pictures of her. She said they are always at the park. I said I’d come by sometime later in the week. When I arrived on Sunday, she was there, thankfully. She recognized me from far away, and eagerly waved.
I didn’t expect to meet a friend, which makes writing this profile so hard! I don’t want to cheerlead…
The biggest challenge of this profile is finding direct quotes. Because of the language barrier, the most I could come up with is a broken sentence. I decided to leave the sentence as it was, not altering it, not even for the grammar.