OK

Waiting for Godot.

It is Saturday morning here in Wheaton. I'm down at the office waiting for a new client to show up with a bunch of products for me to photograph next week. It was the only day that fit into her schedule.

It used to be that I only ventured down to the office on a weekend when there was the smell of big money to be made, but those days are gone and I will come down here at 3AM on a Sunday morning if someone promises to write a check for anything over $500. I need to keep paying the bills.

Yesterday, in my introduction, I alluded to the thing about these last 4 years that had turned out to be unexpectedly wonderful. Let's start with that, while I wait for my client.

One of our daughters came back to Wheaton after almost 10 years in Seattle after the breakup of her marriage and brought with her two children. Since her ex was a deadbeat almost from the very start, it was not a big surprise that she had to work full time and we "volunteered" to take responsibility for caring for the two during the day while she was at work. Business had already slowed to the point that there was often not enough to occupy both of us at the office most days, so, we worked out an arrangement. I would get up and take care of the grandchildren from 7:30 until 8:30, feed them breakfast, get the older one off to school and then go in to work. El (my lovely wife) took the "day shift" and I would come home for lunch with her and the little boy - thus saving money and helping out as well.

At 4:30, I would go home and play with/supervise the children with her until their mother came home at 5:30 or so.

This has been the routine now for 3-1/2 years. The grandchildren, Lucca and Bella have grown up quite a bit (he's almost 5 and she's 7-1/2) and virtually all their friends live in our neighborhood - and there's a whole gang of them. They are all under the loose supervision of 2 mothers and a grandmother (El) all afternoon and run around and play like I used to do back in the 50's.

Bella and Lucca regard El and I as if we were their parents - not that they don't love their mother, they DO. But we have a relationship with them unlike any we could have had, had the divorce and their move from Seattle never happened. We are involved in every aspect of their life.

Although they were much different ages in Seattle which makes direct comparisons hard, they lived there in an urban setting in a townhouse that had no yard. They spent their days with a very young and not-too-interested nanny mostly watching TV (since it was always raining and they didn't have any friends in the neighborhood - and if they did, they wouldn't have been allowed to roam with them in a busy almost-downtown area).

Here, both have blossomed into wonderful, interesting and curious children before our eyes. Having them with us has also saved me from traveling to a dismal, rainy Christmas in Seattle every year for 10 years. El and I have stayed younger and more hopeful because of these two little people. Sometimes you have to look at the half-full part of the glass...

Cheers,

Tom

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