Thursday, October 08, 2009

"Jessica Stomping Dance"

I've known Jessica since 2006, when she came to campus for a weekend as a prospective student (being recruited by Lehigh). She was in a seminar that I led for prospective students, and I can still remember her coming up to me afterward. We talked for awhile. The following fall when I walked into Intro to Soc on the first day of class, I was surprised that there she was, sitting right up front--- In a sea of over 200 faces she stood out in the crowd because I remembered her as that talented bright kid who had been in that seminar the previous spring. Quickly she became my unofficial advisee. She was a stand-out student, a great young woman, and I had an extra special love for her once I found out that she's Haitian. Right away (and I admit here, this was in large part for selfish reasons!), I got her an on-campus job working in the Lehigh Daycare (where Kyle and Owen were in childcare at the time). She was a huge asset to the Childcare Center, and all the kids there loved her immediately, but K & O adored her, and they had quite a bond. She still works there to this day. In the spring of 2007, when we took Kyle and Owen out of that daycare and enrolled them in our Waldorf school, I made a conscientious effort to keep the boys in touch with Jessica. She has babysat for Kyle and Owen (and now Meera too) throughout the past four years, sometimes at our house, and sometimes on campus. Lately she's been doing a lot of babysitting for us at home in the evenings when Braydon and I need to be at meetings. The boys have always called her "Jessica Stomping Dance" because she --in addition to everything else she does (like being heavily involved in the African-Caribbean Cultural Club)-- has been a member (currently the Captain) of the Lehigh Step Dance Team. (The boys have seen a bunch of their performances at Lehigh, and they also performed at their 3rd Birthday Party, etc., etc., etc.) Just in the past couple of weeks I've noticed that they've started to call her by her full/'real' name, using her last name instead of saying "Stomping Dance" afterward. It is one of those cute things that I'll miss about their Little Boyhood--- the cute names they've had for people in their life-- those names that are slowly but surely disappearing as they approach Boyhood and leave Little Boyhood. Jessica was here last night babysitting while Braydon and I were attending two different meetings. I snapped the photo above just before I headed out, as the three of them were hanging out in the playroom together (Meera was already in bed). Jessica has been such a blessing to our family and I am so grateful that we have had the opportunity to embrace her her into our life. She's a Senior now, and will graduate this spring, so we're going to try to savor these last few months with her around.

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