Thursday, October 8, 2009

My Kids (Part 2) – Robert & Eric

(This is a continuation of a thread of posts about the kids I’ve cared for over the years. Click HERE to view the previous post.)

One day in 1994 while driving home from playing tennis I saw a woman holding a sign begging for work. With her were her two young children, maybe seven and ten years old. I don’t normally do this – in fact I have never done it before or since – but I stopped and offered them a job helping me strip old wallpaper from the bathrooms in my home. (I just happened to be in the middle of a bathroom remodeling project.)  They accepted and I took them to my house where all three of them, even the youngest, really worked hard. Then I let the kids go swimming (I lived in a town home complex back then, with a pool in the common area) and fixed them dinner. From these beginnings a relationship formed.

Over the next few years I helped this family with odd jobs and, a number of times when things got really bad, I let the kids stay in my home, fed them and took them to school in the mornings. They were really nice kids living a tough, uncertain life.  In the photo above, Eric is on the left and Robert is on the right.  I was providing respite care for the boy in the middle.

Since then the kids and I spoke on the phone or exchanged letters occasionally. In 2002 the eldest child, Robert, invited me to his high school graduation in Virginia. I flew out there and watched him graduate with honors. I’ve lost touch with them since, but I am confident they’re doing well.