Gina, The Wonderful
This essay by a child (he's not a child any longer, Jamie is now going on 14) I was a former nanny to. It got me really choked up and I had to ask for his permission before I posted it. He said "yes" and so here it is. I personally cringed when I read "Italian lover".
Gina, the wonderful
Gina was my babysitter from ages 3- 11. She took over for my old babysitter Dagne who moved to Oregon (but later moved back to Seattle and who was best friends with Gina….) Gina was the perfect babysitter. Normally taking care of the four of us; my sister and me and our friends Danny and Rachel, she did what most people could not, control us. Sophie (my sister) and Rachel were usually well behaved, but Danny and I were all over the place. Most of the time, we had to walk on either side of Gina holding her hand so that we wouldn’t laugh, talk or in any other way cause mischief. For the first couple months we took to calling Gina, Doc-Gina. Since we were used to saying Dagne, when Gina was around we got confused (you should have heard us when they were both around). Doc-Gina mastered the art of mass cleaning/taking care of kids. There were the one minute baths, perfect dinners, homework time; in which Gina would go around the various homework places helping people study (with Danny and I usually in separate rooms.) Gina was a blessing to our family. With Gina around, everyone excelled in school and, because Gina would have it no other way, had well rounded lives. When you wanted to throw a baseball around with Gina she was available. It wasn’t the type of thing where she only half tried to catch the ball; Gina, being very competitive, always gave you her best. That was the thing I liked most about Gina, she gave me a challenge, yet someone to go back to. She was that soft pillow in your bed, it was challenging to situate, but once you had the pillow situated, it’s perfect.
It all started when Gina started dating Demetrio, her Italian lover. We all thought he was stuck up and mean to kids, but somehow Gina saw a different side to him. We all felt betrayed because Gina was spending more time with him than us. They had been dating for about a year when they took a surprise trip to Las Vegas. We all thought this was alright, and we didn’t think that anything would happen. Then Gina did the most un-Gina like thing ever: Gina who was organized and had to have everything planned, Gina who hated spontaneity, got married. They got married at a drive through chapel in Las Vegas. They sent us pictures and we were all shocked. At first we thought they were kidding, like an April Fools Day joke, but then we realized that they were serious. We all felt as though we lost our friend, she was no longer ours, she was his now. We had to live with the new Gina. She was a bit happier, but she was less excited about work. It was as if she had lost all interest in us, the kids, we were just another brick in the wall.
We had finally accepted Gina and Demetrio when the big hit came, they were moving to Italy. “They’re moving…to Italy?” I questioned meekly when my mom told me. A bitter taste came to my mouth and lump in my throat. I couldn’t believe what my ears were telling me. When Gina told us the next day it only worsened, I knew that I would have to live with it, but not now, I couldn’t take it now. Over time I accepted it, and she has been in Italy for about 2 years now and is about to have her first baby. There is still a hole where Gina should be in my life, but my childhood Gina is gone.
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