Written by Drew Ragland:
I have 70 children, more than a few of whom I have known since before they were born. We grow together, we suffer together, we rejoice together. Our relationship has no beginning, nor shall it have an end. Sometimes I ponder whether they have taught me more than I have to them. I expect great things from them, and they expect even greater from me. Alongside one another, we paint our hopes and dreams on the same whitewashed canvas of life. The colors and strokes and methods may differ, but I expect the outcome will be strikingly similar. I do not ask anything from them that I would not ask from myself, and they hold me to this compromise. I see reflections of myself in their smiles and in their tears. We are as much the same as we are different. At night, I often worry whether I could have done more for them. I want them to have everything in life, but I know that I cannot give it to them.
The numbers in which we measure our success are of smiles, high fives, and broken piñatas. On April 16th, 2018, me and Dylan will smash our way up to the number ten. We will do it side by side because we are family.
How could I give this life up? How could I leave Potrero? I couldn’t. I won’t.
I have made them promise to behave well and be kind to others. They have made me promise to return to Potrero frequently. “Don’t worry,” I tell them. “You may not see me in Potrero for a few months, but I will always be here.” I have 70 children and I am the happiest person in the world.