I never thought that we would ever, ever, possibly, have another father who giggled incessantly. Drew’s dad was bad enough: he had the continual aspect of a flasher, or well, as the director put it: “That man looked like a 24/7 perv.” I took a lot of hot showers back then.
When he left we were happy to see him go – mostly. His wife was incessantly lovely and polite and over the course of their five-odd years at our school, never gave us any trouble. That’s amazing, as far as parental track records go. The kids were sweet, too, obviously loved and emotionally secure and happy. So saying goodbye to them was mostly sad.
I was happy to bid farewell to the continual giggles, though.
And then I met Neil. “Good morning!” I chirped at him, head at an angle, hands folded behind my back because (as has been established) I am a grizzled old hand. I realized we hadn’t met properly and held out my hand. “I’m Miss Lola,” I began, and then my voice died in my throat. He was looking at my hand, and he was giggling. He giggled through our introduction, and when the director came in and he greeted her, and when he kissed his son goodbye. And he giggled every morning after that too, and every afternoon.
I can’t even type the word anymore.