My oldest son went to daycare at Cordi Marian, 1100 S. May Street in Little Italy for three years. They accepted all children provided they were potty trained. My son was hardly overqualified, but they accepted him anyway. These three years were quite a learning experience for me because of series of unbelievable coincidences, the kind you couldn’t include in a novel or a movie. First of all, I learned that my aunt Concha also sent her son Peter there for daycare. Peter and David didn’t really know they were related because they had never met before. One day I recognized my aunt Concha as she was leaving Cordi Marian with her son. Our sons soon became good friends and since Peter was a year older he kind of looked over my son to make sure he was fine.
Another surprise was that the nuns who taught at the school knew our family. In fact, the nuns were all from Mexico. So were all the lay teachers and teacher aids. All the parents liked the fact that the children were learning Spanish. Since most of the teachers spoke very little English, most of the children were speaking Spanish. One day, Sister Teresa, the principal, asked me how my father was. She knew my father by name. We talked a while and then she told me how she knew not only my father but also his brothers and sisters and their parents, my grandparents. Since my grandfather was a carpenter, he did some carpentry with his sons at Cordi Marian. Sister Teresa showed me some of the shelves and bookcases that they had made for the school. And three generations later, my son is using these cubby-hole shelf to store his backpack and blanket.
One day my father called me to me that his sister, Sor Ancilla, had come from her convent in Texas where she is Mother Superior. I go to Pilsen to pick up my father and I ask where we have to go to pick up my aunt. He asks me if I know how to get to 1100 S. May Street. Of course, I do! That’s were I take my son to daycare, I tell him. Well, I get there and sure enough, my aunt Sor Ancilla is staying at Cordi Marian for the weekend. What a coincidence! Or rather, what a series of coincidences that no would believe if I wrote them into a novel.