Son-Two and Daughter-Only had the same kindergarten teacher, a Mrs. P. They adored her; I adored her. She was bubbly and bouncy and endlessly patient and just everything you could hope for in a kindergarten teacher. I remember that when Son-Two moved on to first grade, I sent her a note telling her how much I appreciated who she was as a teacher, not just passing along information to the kids but spreading an infectious enthusiasm for learning.
Mrs. P retired shortly after Daughter-Only moved on from kindergarten. She was good friends with Cranky Boss Lady (of Flower Shop fame), though, and through that connection I became close acquaintances with her if not exactly friends. We do not, for example, call each other up to chat, but we will take a moment to catch up when we bump into each other downtown.
In January, Mrs. P turned 70. She is still bubbly and bouncy, her hair as full and frizzy as ever (it's not just big hair, it's wide too, like a '70s perm brushed out when it was wet) with no visible gray. She is as slender as ever as well and dresses in the jeans and adorable tops of a much younger woman. In short, in a chance encounter with Mrs. P, you would never, ever guess that you had met a 70-year-old woman.
A day or so before her birthday, she went through Daughter-Only's line at the grocery store and mentioned to D-O that she was turning seventy. The woman in line behind her gasped, "You're 70?! I hope I look like that when I'm 70."
When Daughter-Only relayed this exchange to me, I said, "Forget 70, I wish I looked like that now."
4 days ago