Saturday, January 28, 2017

In Search of Pedro

So the TK family is back stateside. After a two month home leave visiting Mr. ATK's family on the west coast (Seattle, WA and Yuma, AZ) and my family in Wisconsin*, we arrived in our new digs in Arlington, VA to set up home while Mr. ATK studies French until August and we head out to Cameroon.

Anyways, so TotTK** and I are adjusting to our newfound days together as I am doing the stay at home thing. It has been enjoyable, but a little isolating as I do not know many people in the area and none with other littles for TotTK to play with during the day. The parks are pretty empty during working hours. On the recommendation of Mother-in-lawTK, we checked out the public library last week Friday and sure enough they have weekly story times for children under two so this will probably become a weekly engagement.

Well, on our way home from the library, which is maybe a mile or so from our apartment building, we came upon some construction that closed off the sidewalk.  This really shouldn't have been a surprise because it is right across the street from our apartment and TotTK loves watching the construction workers out of the window. Anyways, instead of doing the sensible thing and backtracking to a crosswalk I made three pretty dumb decisions:

  1. I decided to jaywalk.
  2. I decided to jog across the street without locking the front wheel of my jogging stroller, which the stroller warns you not to do in big red letters.
  3. I did not check to make sure that the front wheel was securely attached. (Though, this I should have done before leaving the house in the first place. Also the stroller says to do this in bright red letters as well.)
So as I'm jogging across the street, there are no cars (I'm not that dumb) but there is a median, so I need to be the left lane a few feet in order to get to the break in the median. Welp, while I am in this left lane of traffic (again, there were no cars at the time) the front wheel turns and falls off, so the stroller crashes and tips over and I fall over the stroller and eat shit on the pavement. By this time the light a few blocks back had turned green and so now there were cars. Happily they did not run us over. Instead, the first car stopped and a nice lady came running over to make sure we were okay. Which we are. TotTK was strapped in good. He was scared a bit, but didn't hurt himself at all. I had several bumps and bruises but nothing major, except total embarrassment at my terrible decision making. The lady helped me move the stroller into the median so I could put the wheel back on and after assuring her many times that we were both okay, she got back in her car and left. 

As I'm trying to put the wheel back on, I realize the u-shaped thingymabob that holds the wheel on is bent and I can't get it on. So I'm kneeling in the dirt trying to bend it back when a guy from the construction site comes over and asks if I need help. I show him the bent frame and tell him I can't get the wheel on and he's like, "Oh, I can fix this. I have tools in my truck. It's right over there."

So he carries the stroller across the street, gets to work, and in, like, five minutes the whole thing is as good as new. I thanked him profusely, and learned his name was Pedro, he was originally from El Salvador but immigrated to America 20 years ago and has been working in construction, and, in fact, even worked on the apartment building where we are now living.

Later in the day, as the bruises on my legs were really filling in, I started thinking that I should do something nice for Pedro. The more I though about it, the more I was thinking how truly nice it was for this complete stranger to come and help me.  I feel everything on the news and whatnot is so negative and we are so polarized, you forget that people are still people and can be genuinely kind. So I decided to make him some chocolate chip cookies. So over the weekend I made a double batch of cookies and on Monday set out to deliver said cookies.

I head over to the construction site and approach two guys, one tall white man an one short Latino, and ask if they are working on the building. The white guy was like, "Yeah you could say that." (Not sure if he was the boss or something, his vest was a different color then the guys that were working.) So I tell them I'm looking for Pedro and they are like, "Do you know his last name?" And I'm like, "No." And the white guy is like, "Eh, there are a lot of Pedros here." The Latino guy chimes in, "You might as well be looking for a Jose or a Carlos." So I tell them my big long story about why I'm looking for him and the white guy is like, "Hmm...what did he look like?" and there is a beat as I'm thinking how to describe him, and then they both laugh and are like, "Never mind." They said due to the holiday (it was MLK Day) it was possible that Pedro wasn't working and I should try the next day. They did say they would put the word out and I was like, "Yes, please let all the Pedros know someone has cookies for whichever one helped the lady with baby and the broken stroller on Friday."

Tuesday morning arrives and I head back out to the construction site. This time I pass Pedro's truck on my way so I know he's there. I walk up to a guy on the edge of the site and telling him I am looking for the Pedro that owns that red Toyota Tacoma over there. The guy is like, "Oh yeah. I know him. He's definitely here today." So I launch into my big story and point to the cookies, I guess expecting Pedro to just sort of appear. They guy is like, "Well, he could be anywhere, " and gestures to the building and it was only then that I was like, "Oh yeah, this building is huge." It's like a full block. The man offers to take the cookies, and I'm like, "Eh..." So he's like, "Well, you could put them in the back of his truck. If I see him, I'll let him know you were looking."

So, I put them in the truck and since I had figured I would just hand them to him, I did not have a thank you note or anything written. I wonder if he found them (I put them under the oilcloth he had back there since it was raining. They were in a plastic container, of course, but still.) I hope he did. I really hope they didn't go flying out of the back of his truck on the freeway or something and cause a big accident on the interstate. I think a cookie induced multi-care pile up on the reeway would have made the news, though, so I'll just assume he got them.

Anyways, TotTK and I pass that construction site a lot on our daily walks to the park so hopefully one day we will run into Pedro again to say thanks and show him how well the stroller is working. We'll see. We have another eight months to find him in person...



*Good god, I have decided I never need to spend December in Wisconsin again, Christmas be damned. I just... the weather is too horrible.

**I mean, I can't really call him BabyTK any more. Maybe LittleTK? Eh, I'll figure something out.