This week I received a photo card that brought a huge smile to my face. Though it's still easier for me to envision the little blond cutie as an infant and toddler, he's quite a handsome young man now. I've already been thinking about how eleven years ago I was taking care of two little boys who I loved and cared for as if they were our own.
Most weeks, I took care of them for 50+ hours, so we became very close. We were together so often that not a day or long weekend would go by that I wouldn’t be thinking, talking, or dreaming about them. By Sunday evening, if not sooner, I always missed them and was grateful I would get to see them in the morning.
One weekend, Kevin and I took care of one of “my little guys” so his parents could get a much-needed couple of nights away, just the two of them. Their son was so used to me taking care of him, and Kevin coming over to visit that he never once asked where his parents were.
Not even when I was the one to come and get him when he woke up in the morning. His only comments were about what I was wearing: “Glasses.” (He usually saw me wearing contacts.) and “Stripes” (The pattern on my PJs). He didn’t spend the weekend sulking or pouting that his parents were gone. Of course, he was incredibly excited to see them when they came home.
That weekend was the annual Walk for Life for our local Pregnancy Resource Center. We made posters, and my family members took turns pushing his stroller during the walk. Back then my dad was still able to join us for Mass at Church of the Epiphany. He was actually quite thrilled to have one of our family’s favorite little guys at church with us.
Sometimes when I watch our nephew playing, I remember what my dad was like when he’d come to visit or meet up with me and “my two little guys.” Dad always loved being around kids and came up with a seemingly endless array of ways to entertain them without any actual toys. There are times when I feel as though my heart is being pierced because I don’t get to see our nephew and my dad playing together, at least not in person on this side of Heaven.