Everyone needs a little Jake

19 Sep

I met Jake 16 years ago. I was 12; he was 5. I was babysitting him and his siblings.

From the start, we had a special kind of relationship. He especially liked to use me as a jungle gym. If there was a movie on, he was shoving his siblings out of the way so he could put his head in my lap to watch. At my high school graduation party six years after we met, he introduced himself to everyone as my boyfriend.

Today, Jake is 21. He likes to tell me, “I’m legal now!” and wiggle his eyebrows in a way that has me shrieking, “Behave, or I’m telling your mother, you creep!” Jake and his family are the family I got to choose. I am close to many of my aunts and cousins, but he and his siblings and parents have always meant something special to me, in a way that’s really hard to describe.

“Who’s she?” his friends would ask, say, at his 18th birthday party, or at his high school graduation party.

“That’s the babysitter,” he’d say, I think just to confuse them.

Well, I just got the greatest message I’ve gotten in a long time, and I felt the need to share it, if for no other reason that maybe you’ll get a fraction of the joy from it that I felt:

so for some reason, i can’t find your email address.

anyway, i heard this song called “Praan” by garry schyman, and it’s beautiful. i found that it’s based off of a poem. and the poem is even more beautiful. and then i thought of you because you like poems and you are beautiful.

here’s the poem.

* * *
From Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore (sung by Palbasha Siddique).

“Stream of Life”

The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day
runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures.

It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth
in numberless blades of grass
and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.

It is the same life that is rocked in the ocean-cradle of birth
and of death, in ebb and in flow.

I feel my limbs are made glorious by the touch of this world of life.
And my pride is from the life-throb of ages dancing in my blood this moment.

* * *
miss you, and hope to see/talk to you soon


The most recent pic of Jac and Jake. This was taken in May or June when I was in town to help with his sister's high school graduation party. I've helped with three of the four parties. The youngest is a sophomore in high school. I'll be 31 when she graduates. I was 24 when the oldest did. Yikes.


3 Responses to “Everyone needs a little Jake”

  1. Liz September 19, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

    Tell Jake I said Happy Birthday…..have fun….it’s your 21st! WOW

  2. Jeff Bonty September 19, 2011 at 9:28 pm #

    Awesome piece of poetry, and your story is sweet, special and tender. Jake was lucky to have you as a babysitter.

  3. Ally September 20, 2011 at 10:40 pm #

    Sweet story. Those wonderful relationships are a treasure in life!

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