Every Child Needs a “Miss Anne”

We’re in the middle of packing our things to move to Washington, DC, and as you can imagine, doing that with a two and four-year-old is pretty challenging.  But yesterday, a lady whom I only know as “Miss Anne” made life a whole lot easier for us and the kids.

In the midst of all the work my wife’s doing to get us ready to go, she had a doctor’s appointment and couldn’t take the girls along.  Miss Anne, a lady from our church whom I’ve never met before, somehow heard we needed help with the girls and offered to keep them if needed.  My wife gladly took her up on the offer.

When I got home, the girls couldn’t stop talking about Miss Anne.  They reported that she gave them bunny ears, fed them jelly beans, gave them coloring books, and made them peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  They kept talking about her throughout the night, and even when I was praying with my two-year-old before she went to sleep, she interrupted to start talking about Miss Anne again.

Miss Anne reminds me of this elderly couple who used to live down the road from us when I was three and we lived in Arkansas.  Sometimes they kept me, and although I don’t remember very much about them, I do recall this: I sat in the old man’s lap, and when I did, he let me play with the remote control (remote controls were pretty rare and revered back then, so it was probably the equivalent of letting me play with his iPhone).  Most of all, I remember feeling safe and happy in their home, and 32 years later, it’s still one of the earliest and fondest memories of my childhood.

I’m sure that couple has long since passed away, but I would like to say a belated thank you to them.  Thank you for giving my parents a break.  Thank you for making me feel so safe and comfortable.  Thank you for loving me in the little window of time you had.

And to Miss Anne, I’m not sure if we’ll ever meet or if you’ll ever keep my girls again, but thank you as well.  Thank you for being a kind, friendly face in my daughters’ lives.  Thank you for the bunny ears, the jelly beans, the coloring books, and the PB&J.  Thank you for giving them such a happy morning – it will probably end up being one of their fondest memories from childhood.

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