Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Bittersweet Surrender

"It's a fool looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart."
~O' Brother Where Art Thou

Once upon a time, circa 1987, this gypsy packed her belongings, left Michigan and headed to Maryland to be a nanny for a family she'd never met. I knew I'd be working for a dad, a mom, and their two sons. What I didn't know, and didn't expect, was that I'd fall madly in love with all of them or that our bond would span decades. I never would have guessed the importance of them becoming part of my life.

The youngest of my nanny kids, Ben, is here visiting right now. Ben had just turned 2 when I met him. He's 23 now. It is a profound thing to me, to have been a big part of this man's formative years, to have watched him journey through his childhood, and to see him now as a young man. We determined that it's been 8 years since we saw each other last.

To say that I'm proud of who he's become is an understatement. He's grown into an intelligent (highly!), caring, compassionate, articulate, witty, self-assured man. The ease with which we passed the evening, talking about everything under the sun, had me feeling rather... oh, too many things. I shouldn't be so astonished - Ben was always an easy kid to relate to, and both he and his brother were raised in an environment that allowed for good learning and conversation of all kinds. Still, to see this young man, so accomplished already, and to know that I played some part... I dunno. It's a gift, and one of the finest I've ever received.... evidence that my impact on someone's life was worthy.

But, it's hard to reconcile the 6'3" grown person with the little boy who used to climb up on my lap. It was just yesterday, wasn't it? Surely I haven't aged twenty one years since then?! Time is a fiercely marching son of a bitch. Still, some things turn out right.

Some things turn out just fine... even with all their bittersweet residue.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah I know what you mean it does sometimes only seem like yesterday that I was rocking a much smaller and lighter nephew to sleep but that was 10 yrs ago now.

    See sometimes life is a journey sometimes the journey is life.
    Ben sounds like a really nice young man and no doubt some lucky, lucky girl is going to fall head over for him, but you'll always have a place in his heart ;)
    I think I'll call you Mary Poppins from now on, she was a bit of a mystery and a wanderin'.

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