Claudia has a lot more to juggle in her life than I do. She has a son, Rodrigo (see November 15), who has been one of our son Theo’s best friends for over 5 years now, and a daughter Gaby (May 16) who is a couple of years older – both incredibly sweet kids. Originally from El Salvador, Claudia is a single mom who also lives with her own mother and until recently her grandmother too. Her grandmother returned to San Salvador recently, became ill there and is now likely to pass away soon. Because Claudia is working hard to support her family here, she can’t return to El Salvador to be with her beloved grandmother for her final days. I only see Claudia for a few minutes at a time when she is picking up Rodrigo but when I do I am always impressed that she manages to smile and remain so strong. While I’m stressing over book and deadlines, daily blogposts and Theo’s math homework, Claudia is working to support three generations here in Los Angeles and her dying grandmother back in El Salvador, while raising two kids – and all of this in a second language! She is a real Superwoman.
Today when she came to pick up Rodrigo, who had spent the day with Theo, we chatted about her grandmother and about her plans for Thanksgiving tomorrow. She, her mother, kids and sisters, who also live here, will all be celebrating together at her place. Although Claudia will no doubt spend the day cooking, I hope that she will be able to enjoy the support and warmth and gratitude of her close family. I had given her two kids a gift, so I wanted to give her something too today, especially because I know she misses her grandmother. We had a pretty cheese board made of a melted glass bottle, which we weren’t using. I gave it to her in the hope she’ll be able to treat herself soon to a glass of wine and some cheese and some well deserved rest.