Casual Encounter

There are honors that come along in life for which one will never see a trophy or a certificate.  Little everyday happenings, and realizing their significance comes later, much later.
Having lived in this town for more than 22 years, and having raised our sons through the school system, having had a few ‘low-end, meet-the-public’ jobs, I know faces.  Not always names, but folks here and there.

The first summer we lived here, I got to know the immediate neighborhood.  I had a 3 year old pedaling a tricycle and a new baby in a carry pouch, and we went walking. 
We had moved here from the college town where Husband earned a B.A. degree. It was in the mountains of eastern Tennessee, so being able to mosey along the sidewalk to the blue mailbox without worrying about going downhill and gravity was a nice improvement.

A couple lived down the street then.  We got invited to sit on their porch and have lemonade quite often.  The lady loved my children, and confided that she and hubby had been trying for years to have some.  Infertility was not an easy subject to discuss when a 3 year old is chattering at my elbow, and I was nursing a bald bitty baby.
Come the Fall, I heard she was going to have surgery to help with the ‘getting pregnant’ process.  Broke as we were, I made a casserole and took it by during her recuperation.  She said this was the last resort, if it didn’t take, they would look at adoption.
It didn’t take.

Their road to adoption was easier than some, and I am not sure of all the details.  It took a couple years, because I had another baby in the meantime.
What I do remember is the day I stood in their driveway with my third son in my arms to tell them he had been chosen to be the Baby Jesus for the church Christmas play. 
What I did not know right then is that was the day they brought home their own almost 4 day old adopted son.  My baby was almost 8 months old, and seemed so big by comparison.  As an adopted mom, she was also moving quite a bit better than those of us who gave physical birth.
We had Congratulations all around, but it was a blustery Fall day, and I was worried about wind and cold and germs, so I headed home and they went inside their house.  I didn’t see them the rest of that winter.
They adopted a little girl a few years later, not a baby, but still a younger sister.  I never think much about those youngsters being adopted, I just know they are a family glad to belong together.

They moved to a newer house on another street, but the kids still went to the same junior and high schools, so the occasional Parents Night caught everybody up to speed.

A few weeks ago, at a festival downtown, they approached me and asked about my boys, and told me their son would be going to HCC.  I mentioned I would be a full-timer there myself.

Which brings me up to today.  I was walking down the hall after class, when a gentle touch on my elbow caused me to turn my head. 
There stood a fella who I know to be 8 months younger than my youngest son.

In typical college girl fashion, I got a bit tongue-tied that a handsome young man had come up to me and started talking first.  I know we said something about his mom, but I couldn’t quote it on a stack of Bibles.  He looks Just like his Dad!!  He said he was glad to see me, that I am quite brave to be returning to school like this.  He talks Just like his Dad!!

You know how they say that just before a car crash you can see your life flash before your eyes?  I’m standing there in the hallway and I see the last 20 years galloping past.  This is that baby on a gray November day.  The boy in the school’s book club when DoF was the advisor.  The star of the high school play.  And he was talking to Me!!

On the way home, I’m thinking that maybe he saw my familiar face in the crowd and needed a bit of assurance.  Cuz, like, I’m buddies with his mom, everything’s gonna be all right.

But still, I feel flattered I got noticed.

I’ll remember this elation next time I see someone who might need a bit of cheer.
~~love and Huggs, Diane

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