Before I left my office to turn in my enrollment form, I looked outside to check the weather. Cloudy but no rain. Should I bring an umbrella? No, it's only three blocks from my work to the SFUSD office. So I optimistically hopped out the door with only Alice's birth certificate, address verification, and enrollment form clutched tightly in my hand.
As soon as my foot hit the street, it started to sprinkle, and then pour. Not my lucky day. As I was crossing Van Ness, the enrollment form tucked under my sweater, a huge gust of wind swept Alice's birth certificate out of my hand. I chased after it and then the light changed and the cars started coming. I must have looked ridiculous, or suicidal, dodging traffic on Van Ness. Finally, I was able to get a grip on the certificate and made it safely across the street.
The remaining two-block walk went smoothly, and I even found a shiny penny en route (tails never fails, right?).
The line inside the district office was short (that's lucky). A woman with twins stood ahead of me. She was in a tizzy about getting her kids into a school where one child could be in immersion and the other general ed. And ahead of her was a man who had only one school on his list: Alice Fong Yu. And when it was his turn, he made this very clear to the man behind the counter.
My turn: The man behind the counter looked over my list. "Oh, you've picked all top schools," he said. "Looks good." I was thinking, do you have a problem with that?
Before he took the form away, I ran my hands over it, trying to transfer whatever luck I might have to that long sheet of paper.
I smiled at him and said, "I hope I get lucky."
"I like your purse," he commented.
What? You like my purse? My $30 fake Burberry purse that I'm carrying because the zipper on my favorite black backpack broke? Can't you say something more profound than that, I wanted to ask?
I momentarily thought about giving him my purse, but instead I said, "It's not real."
"Oh," he responded.
And that was that. Done!
Back outside, it was still raining. I looked for a sign, for a rainbow, for a patch of blue sky, for something to tell me everything is going to work out. When I saw the Grateful Dead outside Vegas in college, it was raining and then Jerry arrived on stage and the clouds parted and rainbows circled the stadium. And when my husband proposed to me at Arch Rock in Point Reyes, a pod of dolphins swam past us. And when Alice was born, the sun shone bright, after a dark, stormy night and a long labor. And here on the day I turned in my enrollment form, I was getting only cold, soggy rain. But as I continued to walk the downpour lightened to a sprinkle. And just before I stepped back into my office it stopped, and I think I saw the tiniest spot of blue, just over the district office.