She arrives Monday! My new live-in helper from the Phillipines. I have butterflies in my stomach and I don’t mean in a fluttery, delicate way!! Oh no – more like giant moths – beating their wings with frantic energy, looking for a way out of a roomful of darkness and closed windows! I hate moths.

Why am I so nervous? I’ve never had a live-in helper in ALL of my adult life! The last time I lived with one, was as a college student, when Savita, a girl from our village came home and stayed with us until we married her off! She was family – in the manner in which long-standing helpers become family, irritatingly familiar and familiarly irritating! But that I was a lifetime ago, when I was young college student, immersed in my own world and oblivious to all else – certainly home and hearth were farthest from my mind!

Now however – I have metamorphosed into a rather house-proud home-owner. I like things just so, that’s not to say I’m fussy or a ‘dragon’ in the home, but well, it’s my house and I like things a certain way! Surely that’s not being unreasonable? But now that she will be here – touching my things, sharing my space & life – I’m beginning to wonder…will I cope? will she like me? will I like her? how will I deal with the loss of privacy? will she learn to cook? will she make my morning cuppa, just so? will she break my stuff? will I manage to be kind and firm at the same time? Scary stuff!!

Don’t know the answers yet, only time will tell. It’s rather like courtship really -tentative and confusing at first, each on tenterhooks – pondering the right words to say, the right tone to use. For now, I’m hopeful, getting ready to ‘do the dance!’

And so I say to her…Welcome,“Mabuhay”!

* After I wrote this, I came to understand that she has not cleared an essential English exam and must go back to the Philippines before she can come back and take the exam again. Though a part of me is relieved, another is sadly confused – despite all my misgivings, I guess I was looking forward to her helping hand!

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