In a prior life, I am convinced that G was living somewhere in Asia – and possibly vacationed in Rhode Island. My conjecture is based solely on one of the many ways that G presently pronounces “Hi” (by far her favorite word) when she is being melodramatic, which is often. Anyway, it goes like this:
“Hiiiiii-eeeeeeeennnnnnnnnnnnnnggggggg-ga.” To me, it sounds like what would happen if one combined 95% Mandarin and 5% Pawtucketese, then poured it over Bostonian English. Just saying. Moving on to the matter at hand…
As her mom and dad, the wife and I have taken credit for all of Greta’s breakthroughs and accomplishments in her first 14 months of life. I’ve come to realize, however, that accepting future praise without disclosing full credit would be like Brangelina or the Gosselins suggesting that they personally parent Maddux or Alexis for more than an hour a day.
In what is probably a long overdue post and confession of sorts, I finally have the opportunity to discuss one of the most important players in the T family parent team: Kate. Honestly, I'm ashamed it's taken me this long to introduce her to you because she plays such an enormous role in our small family's life.
When the wife prepared to end her maternity leave and rejoin the work force last spring, our original babysitter option fell through. We scrambled to find somebody on short notice. I’ll go out on a limb and say that the wife was a bit anxious about finding the right person to watch our two-month old at home. Kate's arrival was timely, to say the least.
Kate came to us by way of an enthusiastic recommendation from one of my own high school besties who had employed Kate part-time to watch her daughter. Next, the wife set up an “interview” in which she prepared notes on index cards and positioned a hot lamp over a chair in anticipation of a thorough interrogation. Surprisingly, when Kate walked in, the two ladies realized they used to work together at a bar in Southie and it was all gravy from that point forward. The wife and I breathed a sigh of relief.
As the time between Greta and Kate went from days to weeks to months, mama bear and I were increasingly stoked. Kate is a registered nurse - awesome. She lives in Southie - nice. She is trustworthy and responsible - essential. She is wise beyond her years - bonus. She’s taught G how to say “dude” along with probably every other word in her vocab - wow. She is sweet, funny, totally grounded, and devours books faster than anyone I know. She also enjoys teaming up with the wife and ragging on me for my lack of contemporary music selections in the iPod. You get the picture. (Yes, I’m crushing on her but minus any creepiness.)
Most important of all, however, Kate has come to love Greta (or at least it seems to me) in a way that’s as close to being a parent as we could ever hope. And Greta, in turn, loves Kate like a third parent-slash-older sister, cousin, aunt, and BFF. When Kate enters the door, G-Sizzle usually howls some indecipherable noise of glee and convulses in joy. Kate hardly has time to even take off her coat before she scoops up Gigi and they start catching up on all that they’ve missed since their last visit together. That dynamic, to me, is more precious than say the novel Push by Sapphire. (Thanks Oprah.)
I happen to write this blog entry at the same time a strong possibility exists that we could lose Kate in the very near future. Considering her professional ambitions and her superlative qualifications for same, it was only a matter of time. While we absolutely prefer to be a stepping stone on Kate’s journey – and certainly not an obstacle – I admit we’re shamelessly holding onto her pant leg for as long as possible! Just as you do during one of G’s moments, Kate, please forgive us for kicking and screaming.
Now, as for our reincarnated Chinese Ocean Stater, she and her three parents will be basking in the rediscovered sun during our remaining week of residency in Southie. After that, the wife and I quietly hope we’ll be seeing you down in Cahvah. Whatever the future holds though, Kate, thank you so much for being G’s first besty and her original third parent. We couldn’t have asked for better. We wish you the best and thank you for all of the wonderful influence you've had in raising G with us for the last year. Oh, and by the way, G says "Tanks."