Guys. It’s happening. Things are opening back up. I feel the tension dissipating on trips to H-E-B. We went to the park today and my kids had never been happier–I hadn’t realized how much they’ve missed people too. They introduced themselves to every single kid they saw and when we left all we talked about is how many new friends they had. Man, I love it here. Of course, I want to be cautious and fulfill social-distancing requirements. Of course, I don’t want to rush things and I want safety to be our number one priority, but I cannot tell you the depths of joy I feel in knowing that the city I love is slowly coming back to life!
I’m not from San Antonio, but I love it deeply. I love it deeply because my husband is a Texan; He is 100% an all caps, over the top, TEXAN. You know, one of those Texans that can’t ever stop talking about Texas when they aren’t here? I’m talking the kind of born and bred Texan where when we lived in Washington and someone said: “Man that restaurant has the best burgers” his reply would automatically be “Yeah well, I bet they aren’t like Whataburger.” The kind of Texan who tried to convince me that, when I went into labor with our son in Missouri, we could “totally make it to the border of Texas” and have him there. Smoked meat? My freezer is full of it. My kids knew who Buccee was before they knew Mickey Mouse. That’s the kind of Texas pride that has infiltrated my own Montana-born heart. I guess if you can’t live in the Big Sky State you might as well be a Lone Star.
Last year when the Army gave us the opportunity to move here for a few years we pounced. We cheered. We danced. We jumped for joy. And our friends in Washington couldn’t understand it.
How could we be so excited to move back? Weren’t we from here? Wasn’t this a temporary move? Why all the fanfare?
If you’re from here, you get it. You get what it’s like to be welcomed into a city and feel at home among almost 1.5 million people. You get what it’s like to attend a Spurs game where everyone sitting around you automatically feels like long lost friends you’ve been reunited with. You get that your presence every year at the San Antonio Rodeo is essential to the success of both the bull riders and the people selling those giant corn dogs. You love SeaWorld and Cowboys Dance Hall and don’t mind the tourists because everyone deserves to feel at home in a big city for even just a moment.
My kids never had a chance when it came to calling San Antonio home. Their little toddler hearts have been won over by the Magik Theater, the Alamo, and the way the pavement stays warm long after the sun goes down in the summer. Our 4-year-old proudly tells people he’s from here, even though our time, for now, will be somewhat brief.
What I love most about this city is the way my family fits into it. It feels safe and the people are kind. There are splash pads, and parks and the San Antonio Zoo is the perfect place to land on a Tuesday when you have to get out of the house before you go crazy at home with the kids. San Antonio is a family city. It’s built for moms like me with kids like mine who want to learn and explore and most of all, experience. We only have two short years here but we are packing so much in simply because we can. There is so much to do. Our list of family-friendly things to do is endless but we are absolutely ready to get back to work ticking things off.
I love that we can go to brunch on a weekend morning and no one is annoyed we brought our little kids. I love that season passes to museums and tickets to SeaWorld are affordable so my kids can experience the perfect balance between fun and learning. I love that in these formative years for my children, San Antonio has created a space for kids to experience so much culture, history, and creativity. In this nomadic life we live in the military, San Antonio has quickly become the place the Army sent us to finally feel at home. Oh, San Antonio, I have missed you, and I have the sneaking feeling that you’ve missed me too.