Thursday, August 18, 2011

is this the one? (m)

Diane was our babysitter for 12 years.  She supplemented my aunt who lived with us and took care of the kids.  At one point, Auntie El no longer drove the kids and I needed someone to pick them up, take them to afternoon sports and back home.

Enter Diane.  My neighbor, S, recommended her to us.  She found Diane through the recreation center in our town where Diane taught classes to kids (fun science, fun cooking, fun painting).

Diane was 26 years old when we first met her.  She was mature beyond her years, very responsible.  I was comfortable immediately.  More important, Auntie El -who disliked most people- loved Diane. Phew.

Diane stopped helping out a few years ago when I stopped working.  Every now and then she'd call, saying she needed a "fix" of the kids.  They love her and she loves them.  Diane would pop in on her way home from work and eat whatever I was making for the kids.  We all sat at the kitchen counter.

While Diane seems perfect to us, it's men she has a problem with.  She's had a few serious boyfriends but they never get to the altar which Diane badly wants.  She also would be the world's best mother.  It breaks my heart.  This is a quality person of the highest order.

Diane called last week and said she wanted to see the kids before they go off to school.  She has their Christmas gifts!  Because of my mother's death, we postponed Christmas with Diane.  Has it really been that long since we've seen her? 

Diane tells us she has a new boyfriend, someone she met at her high school reunion.  She likes him very, very much.  Would we like to meet him?

We set tonight as the date.  The day after the neighborhood dinner party.  I have a meeting with the Mayor of Boston's office that runs over by two hours.  I jump in a cab in Boston and race home.  Breathless, I set the table and chop up vegetables for salad and for stir-fry chicken, Diane's favorite.  I buy a couple of steaks in case her boyfriend doesn't like the stir-fry.

Diane and Dave arrive at 7.  She looks amazing.  Her medium brown chin-length hair is longer and blonder.  She's lost a few pounds and is dressed all in white.  Her skin looks tanned (lightly) and she is wearing plain gold hoop earrings.  She is beaming.  A woman transformed by love.

Dave is wonderful.  Even Harrison and Sam like him (they say kids and dogs are most perceptive about whom to like).

At 11 p.m., they leave.  I'm exhausted and I have a kitchen-full of stuff to clean and put away.  Sam's shirt for work needs ironing.  Harrison's lunch needs to be made.  We have to get up at 5:30 to leave for Harrison's competition on the Cape.  Was I crazy taking all this on tonight?

Then I remember something Dave said.  He said something about waiting his whole life to meet the right person and her being under his nose for a very long time.  Then he looked at Diane and gave a loving smile.

Knowing Diane may be on the path she's long awaited lightens my load.  I zip through the cleaning feeling happy for her.

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