Single Source

Thanks to Missy, I think I need to update my resume.

For those of you who joined us late (Hi there!), Missy the Great and Wonderful is my wife’s young, developmentally disabled aunt. We’ve been her guardians for almost a year and a half now, a time that’s been something of a learning experience for all three of us.

And one of the things I’ve learned is that I have many more job titles than I used to.

You see, against the advice of most Wall Street analysts, Missy tends to single-source her essential services. Which is how come my professional credentials now include:

  • Holder of the Pills. Applicant must possess hypnotic power in at least one hand, capable of making ibuprofen seem wonderful and compelling despite the strongest of wills (read:ornery stubbornness).
  • Monitor of the Teeth. Must provide sufficient energy and entertainment to induce the successful and even gleeful application of toothpaste, resorting if necessary to sound effects, foreign accents and play-by-play descriptions. (“And she’s opening with the double-handed technique, a strong start to the evening …”)
  • Opening and Closing Bell. Must be able to rally a determined (read: tired and ornery) young lady upstairs to bed, despite the seductive inducements of Legos, photographs, or a really hot guy on “Dancing With The Stars.” Duties will also include the occasional morning extraction from bed of said young lady, when the usual service provider (Hi, honey!) has submitted an unsuccessful bid.
  • Evening Narrator. Duties shall include the selection and presentation of reading materials prior to final “lights-out.” Wide range of volumes accepted, with prior successes including The Hobbit, The Great Brain, the complete Harry Potter series, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Please note that the job may include occasional overtime along with “on-call” weekend duties.

Now granted, some positions such as Shoe Assistant are still open to a competitive market. And there’s been the occasional outsourcing, as occurred with the job of Morning Chauffeur. But it still amuses me when something on the list arises and I hear Heather tell me “Honey, can you get her to …”

It’s a little like having a superpower, or being the Jedi Knight of bedtime. (“Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope of getting her to sleep at a decent hour.”) But where does it come from?

I’m sure every parent’s seen the same thing. Heck, I can remember doing some of the same things with my own parents, with a child’s logic that would boggle the mind. Such as, say, the time I insisted that Grandma had to put on my Band-Aid because she worked at a hospital.

OK, it was changing sheets and cleaning up. But that’s almost a nurse, right?

The funny thing is, I don’t think we ever completely give it up when we get older. There’s some people who remain the go-to’s, some sources we trust beyond all reason, some things even now that we’d still come to Mom to before Dad.

I’m not even sure the reasons of childhood change. Perceived expertise? Familiarity? Lack of familiarity? Possession of a tall frame and a deep voice? (Heck, that last one explains several of our former presidents.)

Logical or not, it can create some powerful bonds. And when that trust is well-placed, some beautiful ones.

Ask Heather. Curator of the Missy Hargett Art Gallery. Brewer of Tea and Maker of Snacks. Igniter of Laughter Through Embarrassing Songs.

And also bearer of the shortest title of all, one granted by Missy herself.


Now that’s one heck of a performance review.