I can breathe a little easier, at least for the moment. The get-acquainted meeting went well, at least in terms of Kate’s response to the sitter. I did not tell Kate that anyone was coming. When I saw the sitter drive into the driveway, I went out to greet her. I asked if she had been briefed on the fact that Kate didn’t know about my making arrangements for a sitter. She had. I brought her inside and asked her to take a seat in the family room and went to get Kate who was on her iPad in her room. I told her we had company. She didn’t ask any questions or look surprised. She just put on her shoes, got up, and walked with me into the family room.
I introduced them. Kate asked Brittany to take a seat and then took a seat across from her. Kate very quickly assumed the role of hostess. She asked Brittany if she were from Knoxville. It turns out that she moved here from New York about ten years ago when her mother was stationed at Houston Army Base in Kingston. In a few minutes, there was a slight lull during which time I jumped in with a question or two. We learned that she is 24, has a 20-month-old boy, and that her mother and at least two siblings live in Knoxville.
After that, I asked Kate if she could tell Brittany about our meeting and courtship. She hesitated, and I asked if she could remember where we first met. She did. That led into a discussion of our first and second dates, our courtship, and the role of the funeral home where I was working at the time.
From there we had a little back and forth of our telling about our lives and family and her telling us more about herself. When it looked like we might be running out of steam, I asked Kate if she could tell Brittany about the kinds of things she does with her time. At first, it looked like she would not be able to think of anything. I thought she might mention the yard. What she said was that she was working on photo albums. She started describing what they are like. One of the albums that she and her brother had created about her mother’s family was sitting on the coffee table in front of me. I picked it up and handed it to Kate and said, “You could show her this.” When Kate opened up and started to show her what the book was like, she pointed out a picture of her mother with her mother and father and sister. Brittany commented on how much Kate looked like her mother. It didn’t take long for Kate to become engrossed in the album.
Since they seemed engaged, I decided to step out of the room while Kate showed her the album. I went into the kitchen and got something to drink and to work on a letter I wanted to send to someone at church. Kate was really enjoying the album and being able to share it with someone.
I didn’t stay away long, maybe ten minutes. I went back into the family room where they were seated. It had been about an hour and twenty minutes since Brittany had arrived. I decided we had learned enough on this visit. Before closing the visit, I said, “Kate, you haven’t told her about how much you enjoy working jigsaw puzzles on your iPad and your pulling leaves outside.” I thought it would be good for Brittany to know that because there could be plenty of times that Kate would want to pull leaves or use her iPad while she is here. After that, I thanked Bri for coming and said, “We’ll look forward to seeing you again.” Kate and I escorted her to the door and told her good-bye.
After closing the front door, Kate turned and gave me a puzzled look and asked, “What was that all about?” I said, “Well, we were interviewing her. Do you remember how I have told you that I really hate to leave you alone when I need to go someplace? I thought it might be nice if I had someone who could stay here while I am gone?” She asked, “How did you know her?” I told her that I didn’t, that this was my first time to meet her. Then she asked how I found her. I told her about the woman from agency we had met at Panera 2-3 weeks ago and that she had told me about her. Kate seemed to accept that and didn’t ask any more questions. She didn’t look disgruntled in any way. She said she wanted to get something to drink and then go outside. She got her drink, but she never went outside. I guess she forgot. She went back to her room to work on her iPad. She is still working there even though it has been almost an hour and a half since the sitter left.
Earlier I mentioned that the visit went well, at least from the way Kate responded. That begs for a little more explanation. That has to do with my own reaction to Brittany. She is an attractive young women, but I had hoped for someone that might be a little more (maybe a lot more) extroverted. She wasn’t quick to engage in conversation. Kate did a good job initiating conversation, but there is only so far that she can go. I am glad that I was here to fill in the blank spaces in the conversation, not just by my own comments but through questions or prompts for both Brittany and Kate.
During the visit and since, I have considered that a more introverted personality might not be a bad thing. I know that Kate would tire of someone who talks a lot. That is great for a short time, but big talkers wear her down. I know, she often asks me not to talk.
My plan is to let the agency send her again on Friday and see how that goes. She is supposed to stay for four hours. I plan to go to the Y during that time. That should be a better test for how they get along. I am going to encourage Kate to feel free to either work on her iPad or work in the yard. I will convey the same thing to Brittany.