We had to say goodbye (for now) this week to the two brightest bursts of sunshine we could have ever gotten to know on Spring Road, Zara and Porter. My first memory in our house is of 2-year old Zara - covered head to toe in her fluorescent pink full body snow suit the morning after we moved in. The city was covered in 2.5 feet of snow, we had packed a duffle bag and an air mattress, and we didn't own a shovel. But there stood Zara, beaming up at us, in a backdrop of friendly neighbors shoveling our alley, and suddenly it felt like our new adventure had begun.
The Jacksons have been a constant, generous, bright presence in our lives ever since. They invited us to a potluck dinner the first weekend we moved in. They have showed up on our doorstep with home cooked deliciousness nearly weekly since Harper was born. They brought over infant Tylenol after Harper's two month vaccinations, when Darren was stuck at work and I was on the verge of crying as hard as she was. And they have loved, loved, loved, loved Harper and Bruno (and in his case, signed up to be our most trusted dog sitters).
This was a sad week for team Fernandez. Here's a little Jackson family tribute:
The Early Years:
The Bruno Puppy Years:
The (First) Fishtank Years:
The Harper Years (otherwise known as the Zara-Harper Mutual Love Affair Years):
And The - Just When You Thought It Couldn't Get Any Cuter, It Does - Years. (Ok, same year, I know, but you all will see what I mean.)
Zara asked for her first "job," and after a very serious phone interview in which she described her passion for reading, her excellent judgment when selecting books, and her love of babies, she was hired as Harper's first official reading buddy. Porter then negotiated his own gig as Darren's fishtank cleaning helper. And he got in on the reading action, too. They thought they should be paid $1.00 per session, but based on their qualifications, we paid them $2.00.
There are several families in a Cleveland neighborhood who hit the jackpot this week with these guys. I found myself looking over to wave at them each day this week. I have a feeling it will be a long time before that stops.
We have been so lucky to get to know this gem of a family and we'll always have such fond memories of these first years in our first house on our first block with them.
Come back to see us soon, guys!