For some reason, when I woke up today, I remembered the time I babysat for this really interesting family. I swear the dad was a spy. He was so quiet, like library-style 24/7 but NOTHING like the other neighborhood dad’s. Those dad’s all had this look of constant reflection and sadness, like they yearned for something more. Only time they did talk was to other dads in the neighborhood while overlooking their yard of organized mauve-colored rocks and palm trees. Or sometimes they were only seen from behind and you often never got to see their face. It was almost like the intro to Mad Men. Just these brooding, mysterious dads everywhere looking at their yards.
Anyway, while I was reflecting, the only time I did hear spy dad speak was when he gave me a ride home one night. I lived two minutes away and I always walked or rode my bike to their house. This time they came home around 2 AM and the mom insisted it was too late for me to walk home alone.
So we get in his extremely fancy black car. Spotless inside and out and had that new car smell (their house was equally spotless and always smelled like a new home). Then spy dad asked me, “How are you? It’s chilly out, huh?” But he says it in this deep Spanish accent I had no idea about and I could barely answer because I was blushing and infatuated. I rambled something out and was home once I finished speaking. We said our goodbyes, and he waited to make sure I got in okay before he took off.
They were a nice family, the kids were great, the mom was super nice. She talked to me about cool things like Daria, music, clothes, and boys a lot of the time before her and her husband went out (he was always late coming home). When he did come home, he was either in a suit, rushing through the door, or he looked like he came from a mission in Jumanji. The mom told me he was always off doing secret things (her words not mine!), and she stayed at home since they moved a lot and that’s why she home schooled the kids.
But I always wondered what the dad really did. He was a mysterious character, like I could feel these dark shadows you didn’t want to test lingering around him. The oldest son (6 at the time) was a W. Bush supporter and frequently spoke to me about current events and the importance of voting. So when he told me his father worked for the (bleep) I believed him. James Bond type stuff, like I thought.
Reflecting on all of this today made my imagination kick in and I wondered if spy dad had control of the other dads in the neighborhood (not including my dad since spy dad trusted me enough to watch his kids. Or maybe my dad and spy dad were working together on something and that’s why my dad needed me out of the house so I babysat spy dad’s kids while my dad and spy dad collected data from other dads for some higher level spy purposes… And that’s why the other dads were brooding all the time because they were programmed. That meant spy dad’s wife had to be on it since they went out together. Like some Mr. and Mrs. Smith stuff, perhaps).
Then the mission was complete when they moved away. I had watched their kiddos for three years.
I don’t know why I thought about them today, but I felt super balanced after. Like everything was level and right where it was supposed to be. Maybe something great happened to them and I just felt their happy vibes. Perhaps the dad got a Double O title or something.
Or maybe you’re having a great day and I feel that too!
Here’s a grainy photo of a pineapple I took. It’ll help remove the taste of nerd I left behind… 🙂