Wednesday, April 23, 2008

We All Move Together

I just read The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier. Actually, I devoured the book. I started it on Saturday morning and finished it early the next afternoon, despite running 14.3 miles on Sunday morning and being on full-time mommy-duty all weekend. The novel is two alternating story lines: one about The City--a relatively mundane place where the dead exist while they are still remembered by the living—and the other about a woman stranded in Antarctica after a virus has wiped out most of the world population. Turns out the inhabitants of The City are all still there because this one woman has memories of them swirling around her like so many snowflakes. While it sounds somewhat sci-fi, it’s a moving, insightful book.

My mind was whirring after I put down the book. I contemplated how interconnected people are and how much one person can influence the life of another.

Like our nanny, Eva. This week marks her six-year anniversary of caring for our children. She is a beloved member of our family, yet because of the language barrier (she is a native Spanish speaker with limited English, and I stupidly opted for French instead of Spanish in high school), we aren’t as enmeshed in each other’s lives as you might expect. Like I don’t know how she spends her weekends, and she’s is unclear on what my husband does for a job.

But a few months, Eva told me that she was going to 24Hour Fitness every morning before work. I was surprised-- I never thought of Eva as a fitness enthusiast. She and I had once joked—in Spanglish—that she kept from getting gordo (fat) by chasing my younger daughter, Daphne, around her dining room table. (One of Daphne’s favorite games!)

Yesterday I asked Eva if she was still going to the gym. She indicated she’d taken an aerobics class that morning, and that she takes a kickboxing class every Wednesday at 5:30 a.m. I was so proud of her—and I couldn’t help but think my active life had influenced her.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight, your Nanny works out at the gym before she comes to work? Awesome.