April 12, 2002
Stranger in the House

A strange man is coming to live with us for the next three days.

I don't know very much about him.   I don't know his exact shoe size, for example. I'm not sure what his favorite food is, or what kind of music he listens to these days. I don't know what time he gets up in the morning. I don't know what his career plans are at the moment. I have no idea what he likes to do for fun anymore.

I don't even know the name of his best friend.

Mind you ... he's not a total stranger. I talk to him on the phone at least two or three times a week. (He's got a deep, warm, friendly voice that always puts me in mind of my ex-husband, for some reason.) We exchange the occasional e-mail. We usually remember each other's birthday. He came to my wedding last summer -- handsomely dressed in a brand-new shirt and tie -- and he kept me company/made me laugh/held me together while I nervously waited for the ceremony to begin. If we didn't live a thousand miles apart from each other, he's the kind of person I would probably enjoy hanging out with.

Still ... I'm nervous about this weekend. What if things are awkward between us? What if we run out of stuff to talk about? What if he hates being here? 

What if he hates ME?

David tells me I'm being silly. "This is your chance to get to know each other again," he says reassuringly. "We're all going to have a great time."

I hope he's right. The truth is that I'm actually pretty darned fond of this strange man who will be sleeping on our sofa/emptying our refrigerator/riding around in the backseat of our car for the next three days. He's got beautiful brown eyes, a wicked sense of humor, and one of the kindest hearts I've ever known.  He gives a mean neck-rub, usually when you're least expecting it (and most in need of it).  Plus he reminds me a lot of a little boy I used to know, a long time ago: a little boy who wore a Size 9 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sneaker and who considered Spaghetti-O's one of the four major food groups ... a little boy who woke with the birds in the morning, and who stomped around the house singing "Hangin' Tough" in a sweet soprano voice ... a little boy who planned to be Batman when he grew up, and who liked to build backyard forts and snuggle on laps and shoot one-handed hoops from the back porch before dinner ...

... and whose best friend's name was "Mom."

Mom & Kyle, 1987

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