It was hard leaving you and Papa when Roger started his new job in Connecticut. You were so kind to have us live with you but it wasn’t fair to you. Believe me, we miss you too and living back in Georgia.
My first impression was not a real good one. People are very different here. They are so loud and everyone is in a rush and in the beginning driving here scared me, those fast cars, horns always honking. Mama, don’t tell Daddy but I used to hide in the bathroom, every night, turn on the shower and cry my aching heart out. No one even welcomed us here, there is no Welcome Wagon like home, no cakes or pies or dinners brought over. People seem cold and unfriendly but I ‘ll get used to it, it’s just their way, I suppose.
We do love our own sweet neighborhood which is wonderful. The summer was great. Kids on their bikes, playing in the streets, moms looking out for each others kids. Once school started everything changed. I guess this town is split in two and I never knew that one side has a lot of money and the other side, like us, well, we don’t. Seems like a lot of kids in Jason and Jeremy’s classes lived in mansions. The houses some of these kids lived in we used to watch on that television show “Dallas.” Mansions so big like you see on t.v .some with electric fences, some driveways so long you can’t see the houses, some with great big pools or baseball fields in the back. I swear.
Mama, have you ever heard of a live-in nanny? I sure hadn’t. I guess the rich people who live in the mansions have them. The parents get up early in the morning and take a train to work in the City and they stay late into the night. The nannies feed, bathe and put the kids to bed. Some moms work, others don’t but they still have full-time nannies. I’ve heard the moms and some dads too go to the gym, or play tennis and go to lunch with each other. In our neighborhood, we just stay off to ourselves doing regular things: grocery shopping, cooking, laundry, and cleaning. We get our kids on to the orange school bus and we are there to help them off, they get a snack, do homework and then they can play. I had never heard it any other way before.
This pains me to tell you but one day Jason’s new friend came over for the first time. Jason had a new play date with a child from his class the other day, the child came home with him on the bus. Jason was looking forward to this all week-long. I heard them laughing and whispering and going up the stairs to Jason’s room. Then it got quiet. Apparently, the first thing that wretched child said to my son was: “this is worse than I ever imagined it could be.” My precious boy ran over to me, his face crushed and repeated what the boy said. I told him calmly that it didn’t matter one bit what the boy said, it wasn’t important and was just plain silly, wasn’t it? I got them started on a fun project with rocket ships and special brownies for a snack and they forgot about the room. Lord, as I am standing here, I wanted to cry but of course I couldn’t.
That night when Roger came home Jason told the rest of the family what happened with his”mean” friend.” Mama, It was hear-breaking to see. The boy had behaved poorly and he was rude. This boy’s family had lots of money and did live in a mansion, with a fancy pool but the mom and dad worked really hard all day and night. They had a nanny and a babysitter so the kids didn’t even see their parents very much. The older brother had already been in trouble with the police. That family didn’t have a mom who stayed home and went to their Open Houses at school or their baseball games; their dad didn’t come home at six pm so that the family could have dinner together.We were all eating my vanilla cake with chocolate frosting AND vanilla ice cream. They couldn’t talk about their days or play games every night at dinner like we did. We were the ones who were lucky. Money, cars, houses, pools are nice to have if you want them but they are not important. “It’s not the size of the house that matters; but the amount of love inside that truly counts.” We are truly blessed.