Too Close For Comfort
One cold spring day, I managed to lock myself and my 18-month-old son out of the house. I was eight months pregnant and too big to crawl through the basement window, and my husband was away on a business trip. And to top it off, we were new in town and didn't yet know any of our neighbors.
On the verge of panic, I spotted a woman about my age coming out of a house across the street with two little girls. I dashed over and threw myself on her mercy. "Can you please watch my son while I break into my house?" I pleaded.
Mary and her daughters soon became wonderful friends. And, as luck would have it, she turned out to be a stay-at-home mom who'd been thinking about taking on daycare part-time for a little extra cash, and I needed someone to watch my son and 3-month-old daughter when I returned to work after maternity leave.
Reliable, nurturing, and witty, Mary was an instant hit with my kids. She baked cookies, painted pictures, and even turned her kitchen into a play-dough factory. The arrangement worked so well that my son started begging us to let him play at her house even on days I didn't work, and my daughter began to smile just as easily for Mary as for me. There was just one problem: I was jealous.
Holly Robinson, who writes for several national magazines, is currently at work on her first novel.