Thursday, November 16, 2006

A Mysterious Blessing

A couple of weeks ago I was babysitting at a hotel. (I babysit now. This is how I am staving off absolute poverty). This family who used to be a client of the babysitting agency I work through was in town and needed someone to watch their kids.

So I was there at the hotel with the two littlest kids. The hotel had this little play area (right outside a conference room, which I think is a very bad idea...but because the kids were so good and quiet, the Coca Cola Company reps who were meeting in the conference room rewarded me with a real live free Coke). So we were playing there. Once I noticed an old raggedy woman with a trash can right outside the archway. I thought nothing of it and wouldn't have remembered it if a few minutes later this same woman hadn't come into the room and the following hadn't taken place:

She comes in with some candy, gum, and a dog beanie baby and starts a-talking to us. I could kick myself for not writing about this as soon as I got home, because now I don't remember really what she said. But she proffered the dog to the boys, which I was a bit suspicious about because she wasn't exactly clean. That sounds kind of rude, I suppose, but she wasn't and I was the guardian of other people's kids so I was a little wary. I took a pack of gum (which I did not ever chew but rather threw away just today as I was cleaning getting ready for my sister to arrive from out of town).

At any rate, she starts talking about how she's a doctor and thus always gives toys to children, and she lives just "right there" (where!?) and then she asks if I'm a Christian. I tell her I am and she asks if she can pray for me. I say "sure" because why not. I assume she just means in general in her life, she will start praying for me. But she means right then. So she walks over and takes my hand and prays. She blesses me and my home and my family and husband and I just kept hoping against hope that my charges' dad wouldn't walk in (he hadn't left yet...I was just 'getting to know' the kids in the play room while he iced his post-NY marathon knees). What an awkward thing that would be. So luckily she wasn't a long-winded prayer, and I thanked her and she went on her crazy way. I guess I just assumed she was a hotel maid, but then I thought about it. Wait! This is a halfway decent hotel! Don't maids wear uniforms? And even if they don't, wouldn't they be a little bit cleaner and have shirts with all the buttons? And wouldn't they NOT tell people they were doctors? Of course she could have been a doctor in her homeland and then had to become a hotel maid in America. But the main thing I thought was "WHY did this have to happen when I was babysitting?!" Because then I had to tell the parents about it because they had to know where the beanie baby came from (it turned out to not smell bad or anything...I'm horrible!). And babysitting for people you don't know is already awkward enough. You don't need strange people coming up and talking to the kids you're babysitting for.

If it hadn't happened when I was trying to be a protector, I could have seen more clearly that this was a rather lovely experience. Who was this woman who saw fit to bestow gifts and blessings on strangers?


At November 27, 2006 11:47 AM, Anonymous criz said...

Hi Lolly!
Ya just meet the most interesting folk in the NYC. Interesting and a bit creepy - okay, a lot creepy. Weeeeeeeuhd. Why didn't you eat the gum? You seem real eager to eat all MY gum. If'n it's in the wrapper why not? You could just eat the whole thing in like an hour. I'm in Idaho Falls and I fear I will never leave. I feel as though I will be stuck here forever. In reality I leave on Wed. but somehow today I cannot believe it. I'm waiting in the lobby for someone to come drive me to the movie theatre. Oh why didn't I bring my CAR!!!!


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