I’ve been pondering this post for quite a while. It’s a scary one to publish because I’m concerned that my words aren’t enough to capture the enormity of what I’m trying to say here. There will be, I’m sure, much more to come on this later, but here is the introduction to individuals who will become primary characters in my story. They’re big ones for me, so I want you to learn them from the beginning.
The family that I work for three days a week is incredibly special to me. Their little girl is almost a year old and I’ve been working for them since she was just a little squish bug of saliva and spit up, barely sitting up and pencil rolling her way around the living room floor. Even then, she was determined. She has been my little wild child from the start. She barrels fearlessly through the world as her parents and I sit back and watch in awe. Her mom is the best friend of My Original Family. I call them this because they’re the first family I fell for. Their little blue-eyed boy had my heart on day one and has taken a bigger piece of it everyday since. Trust me, he knows this as well as I do.
The thing I admire most about both of these families is their love. As couples, as parents and fortunately for me, as humans, they love with authenticity, courage, and tenacity. They’ve been a refuge for me during difficult times and extraordinary role models in imagining the life and the love I want for myself. They’re the kind of people whom, when they stumble into your lives, make you stop and look around with a weird expression on your face and think to yourself, “how the hell did I get this lucky?” and “Why did they choose me?”
They’re hard for me to explain to people because one couple is technically my bosses and the other couple used to be. But they’re my friends, some of the best friends. They’re also my family. To simplify, I call them my Frosses.
Last weekend, I sat with both families of Frosses at a concert in the park. We sat on blankets, high on fresh air and good company, as the last few hours of another perfect summer day drifted off. We watched the Littles bask in the attention of so many familiar faces with watermelon sticky hands and tired eyes.
They were illuminated. They were surrounded by love and they knew it. Maybe the more accurate thing to say would be: I am always surrounded by love, but sometimes I forget it. Sometimes I forget to look hard enough. And they remind me, these perfect Littles and their remarkable parents. They remind me to look. The ease and comfort, the giddy giggles of our tiny humans perfectly loved and sensing the attention and connection to their people in such close proximity is a fraction of what these golden hours were for me. My Frosses stumbled into my life during a time I didn’t realize I needed so much extra love. These hours with my people were and are my reminder from grace to look for the love that is always around, represented so perfectly by the accidental love that walked into my life when I thought that I had simply signed up for a job.
Often at home, I’ll exclaim sarcastically, “what a time to be alive!” when one of my roommates or I has had a truly ridiculous day at work and we’re feeling like Monica, Phoebe, Ross, Rachel, Joey, and Chandler, just trying to make it through another day to get back to each other and commiserate.
This evening in the park, I thought to myself quietly in a mental whisper, so soft I almost missed it: “what a time to be alive.”