One of my favorite people in the world celebrates Columbus Day brilliantly.
In the spirit of Christopher Columbus, she takes small Spanish flags, and claims various things in the name of Spain. In the past, she has claimed playground equipment, public transportation, and various individuals, all for its glory.
Originally, I thought that we would actually be living in Spain on Columbus Day. I told my husband that I would claim Spanish items FOR AMERICA, complete with planting small American flags on Spanish soil.
He was horrified. With a single gesture, I could out-ugly the Ugliest American that ever Uglied.
For the record, I would never do it. But….
…since I’m leaving a community that I’ve lived in for a decade? Damn right I’m claiming it for Spain.
I claim the friends who made me realize that I am an athlete. The ladies I ran with, lifted with, Body Combated with, and cried with. The women who transformed me. I claim them, and their warrior spirit, for my Spain.
I claim Chipotle, because…well, duh.
I claim those who hugged my sons, wiped their noses, or made them say, “Thank You.” The teachers, babysitters, medical workers, coaches, and caregivers who loved my children from a place of pure grace–they’re mine, now.
I became a mother here. I met friends who walked the journey of parenting with me, from breastfeeding to homework battles. This community—this village—it’s too precious to leave behind.
Maryland will forever be the birthplace of my babies. The tobacco barns whisper secrets of the past. The Chesapeake sings of the future. It will come with us.
The next time I write here, we will be on Spanish soil.
But my heart will be full, for I carry–and claim—this community, and its dear, gorgeous people. It is mine, and I will never let go.