Thursday, July 27, 2017

where are they now?

I was sitting on the floor, and he came up and gave me this spontaneous bear hug.  I guess he was just caught up in the moment, having a good time, and he just HAD to hug.

It was a sweet hug, but a bittersweet hug.  It was our last day together, and he didn't know it.  But I knew it.

After I retired from the corporate world and got on the mommy track, I ran a little home daycare.  It was a great arrangement getting paid to have cute kids come over and play with Chaco and Wolfgang.   Sure, I was required to do some stuff, but I was already doing that stuff for Chaco and Wolfgang anyways.  Meego wasn't quite in the picture at the time.

Conner was our first and most frequent customer.  I first met him when he was just 3 months old.  The sitter I'd had when I'd been working referred his parents to me to help get my little daycare going.

Over the course of two years, we watched him go from a little 3-month-old to a cute, rough and tumble toddler.  And I think he saw me and Chaco and Wolfgang as his extended family, which I guess we sort of were.  There were other kids at the daycare too, but they were part-timers.  Conner was a full-timer, blessing us with his presence nearly every Monday thru Friday.

L-R: Conner, Wolfgang, Chaco
and that wagon.  I searched all over creation for that
awesome wagon
Conner and his parents made for a cute little family.  Mom and Dad were both just in their 20s, but with good jobs and with family around town.  It was clear that they doted on Conner, and he was a happy kid who knew he was loved.

But, we moved.  We left the state which meant leaving the little daycare biz.  Chaco started school, Meego came along, Wolfgang started school, and I got busy with Meego and volunteering and my daycare days were done.

In all that busyness, I didn't miss running a daycare.  But I did miss the kids.  Most of all, I missed Conner. I hadn't kept in touch with his parents, this was the days before facebook and all.

I'm not sure what got me thinking about those days recently, but I found myself wondering where those daycare kids are now.  I did a little searching online and found this kid with Conner's name, but if not for his parents, I wouldn't have recognized him.

That's not surprising because he's 20 years old now.

Tall, athletic. Graduated from the high school near our old house, now going to college. He has a little brother, same age as Meego.

And he has a stepmom.

Mom and Dad are divorced and Dad's got a different wife.  That saddened me.  I just remember them as the happy cute little family.

But 18 years have gone by.  A lot can happen in 18 years.

If I passed him on the street, I wouldn't have recognized him.  But seeing those few photos, knowing it was him, I could see his little toddler self behind the tall young man he is now.  A little teen angst and attitude showing, but it's him.  I see it in his eyes.

I'm sure he doesn't remember me, but I remember him.  And I remember that last hug.


Linking up with Mama Kat again this week for the prompt:
1. Throwback Thursday: Share an old photo and let it inspire your blog post.


Lori said...

What a bittersweet story. It sounds like Conner did alright, despite his parents divorce. Our lives sure do change over the years. My mom used to have a home daycare also. I think about those kids I used to play with everyday, and I have tried to find a few of them, but haven't been able to.

May said...

You got me with this one. I have always worked with young children and often think of them and wonder where their lives have taken them. Out of the blue yesterday I started thinking about these two adorable twin girls I had taught 20 yrs ago. I googled them and found them both on The Knot. One had gotten married last spring. The other is getting married TODAY!

John Holton said...

If you found him on Facebook, why not drop him a message? He might remember you.

Linda Hensley said...

Even if he doesn't remember you, I would think that he would be pleased to know that you've remembered him. Different topic, your canyon post -- beeeeauuuuutiful!

Jimmy said...

Isn't if funny how quick these kids grow up? Cindy also did day care in NM and this reminded me of a little girl she took care of, we were there when she was born and to look at her now is unreal....all grown up. I agree with John, drop him a message, you never know.

ShadowRun300 said...

Before kids, I babysat full time for a newborn, until his mom decided she wanted to stay home with him. Can't blame her as he was adorable. For the next 20 years I received Christmas cards from her with pictures of him. It was fun watching him grow up. I hope you're able to find out how he's doing these days.

Emily said...

That was a beautiful story. As someone who had to put my 7 month old in daycare, I missed him a lot but it was evident that his caregivers loved him very much and that definitely made it easier for me. Good daycare teachers are worth their weight in gold!

LL Cool Joe said...

What a lovely story, and I was a little sad to read how Connor's little family broke up. I hope he's doing okay now. Yes a lot happens in 18 years.