Where everyone knows your name

I'm half-visiting my parents this weekend. They live near InLawTown, where dress shopping for SIL-1 is occurring tomorrow. So, I decided to visit my parents at the same time. We went out to dinner tonight (I had a ciabatta chicken sandwich... yummy) and some tall, 20-something, guy approached Mom while we were finishing up dinner. I shifted nervously as Mom sang out, "Jim!"

Aha! I remember him. I used to babysit him, Brother, and Jim's two younger sisters. Jim's Mom, Faye, came up with two teenage girls in tow. Faye introduced the girl next to her with short, pixie-ish hair, "Hi, Amanda. How are you? You remember Veronica, right?"

"Veronica?" I gasped. "I used to babysit you when you were six months old! The last time I saw you, I think, you were two. You have hair!" This was met with Veronica shifting uncomfortably while Faye laughed.

We continued talking and catching up. Veronica is fifteen. years. old. She's in high school for performing arts. The other sister, Betty, is graduating from college next year. Jim is in his first year of dental school. Faye is a real estate agent part-time and is working for a title company the rest of the time.

After we left Mom remarked on how much Jim had changed. He grew! He's tall! He has facial hair! I marveled over Veronica's ability to speak coherent sentences and feed herself. Dad told me that I had embarrassed her by the whole hair comment. I told him it could be worse. I could have told her that she's the reason why I'm waiting to have kids. (One memorable afternoon I babysat Veronica and Betty. Betty was "grounded" and couldn't leave her room and Veronica was sick. The former kept trying to sneak out of her room and whining about how "unfair life was and how this totally sucked." The latter cried inconsolably for two hours. Finally, I got her to sleep by rocking her in a chair. Then, I made the mistake of clearing my throat.)

Dad replied, "Well, I guess the hair comment is much better than you telling her that she's responsible for squashing your maternal instinct."