Sometimes, Lisa laughed. A genuine laugh that reached her eyes. I told a few stories I thought would amuse her. Once I told her some of the names in my family. She asked how I got my unusual name, Cameo. Lisa's name was common, as was Brian's, and she had named her children traditional names: Philip, Christie, and Lauren. I simply told Lisa, "Oh, I come from a family of unusual names..." I began to rattle off: "Cameo, Levi, Rory, Rani, Armando, Valente, Locklyn, Alita, Dicksie-Dael, Bubba,...(laughter usually began here)...and then there's my Dad, Bob." Everyone always cracked up at Bubba and Bob. And Lisa thought it was so funny she asked me to repeat it to others. "Tell them your family's names!" she'd say. Then I let them know there was a beloved family pet before me, a dog, named Cameo.
Another time, a year or two after I had quit work with the Thebaults, I sent the kids a card with a funny story. Lisa wrote back that they'd enjoyed the story and had laughed. And yet, that Christmas, when I sent a card, Lisa sent one back to me, long after New Years, which had been "regifted". Now I've heard of "regifting", but recarding? It was actually a Thebault family card, with a name crossed out that it had been addressed to. There was a simple line through the name. I didn't write after that. I kept in touch lightly at first, when I thought about the kids, and thought one day they might want to contact me, but realized it wasn't worth it. I would not write about the kids even today, if they were younger, out of concern they may read my blog and be hurt or offended by any part of it. But by this time, they are grown, and the youngest child I watched, Lauren, is 16, Christie is 18, and Philip is in college. They are old enough to withstand what I write and may remember some things themselves. And if they wish, they can choose to deny, to themselves, or to others, that any part of what I write is true. It would be a stretch to believe they oppose the attitudes of their parents, or have a different philosophy about equality.
There is a book that comes to mind: The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton.