I am not so sure about this new term "person of interest" when referring to what we used to call a "suspect" in a criminal case. To me, it reeks of understatement, political correctness, and many of those things that just totally get on my nerves.
The term "person of interest" - in the vocabulary of my little world - is "the individual that either of my children is currently interested in or considering dating." See? That makes far more sense.
This year, my serial monogamist daughter has been unattached. I say "this year" because I will be celebrating the one year anniversary of the breakup of the last one in a few weeks. He was a really nice kid, but by dating him...anyone with any remote interest in asking her out was obviously not going to ask. It took a few months for anyone to figure out that she was really and truly not dating anyone in spite of changing her Facebook status to "single". Several contenders have come to this house to visit her over the past year, and as soon as they did...they somehow disappeared into oblivion. Sometimes it took weeks...most of them, though...days.
At first I thought it was US. I thought that once they met us, they ran screaming for the hills. The truth? She had already decided that this one or that one would not do. In one case, it just didn't work out for another reason...but whatever. Bottom line? If she brings them here...it is like the kiss of death for the relationship. It really should be the other way around, don't you think? I mean...establish the relationship and THEN bring them home. Nope...if they didn't work out here, she really couldn't visualize them working out anywhere else. She's that family -oriented.
Over the past year, I've listened for the change in description, the happy tilt in her voice, and the positive changes that signal that someone with potential is on the horizon. And when they come, I immediately start trying to figure out who they are, where they are from, and how long this one will last. To date, none of them have survived the visit home.
My son, on the other hand, gives me no indication that he wants to date right now at all. He is more quiet and reflective, and he is all about XBox, bike riding, and doing barbecue competitions with his uncle. We were surprised with a cute girl last summer who did an excellent job of drawing him out of his room, but he is simply not ready for all that goes with a relationship. I wish some girls who are looking for the best guy friend they've ever had would ask him to go places with them...because girls need good guy friends at this age and he needs a couple of people to ride with now that the weather has improved. Every now and again I know he's looking by some comment he'll make. But he is storing up his money and carefully guarding his heart...and that's totally fine with me on both counts.
I suppose that until we are calling caterers and renting a church or beachside hotel for the weekend that "persons of interest" will come and go. It has been an excellent education...and I've learned a lot from getting to know each of the sorority sisters, fraternity boys, friends from high school, and random other people that have come into this house along the way. Some of them will always have a special place in my heart, and others are seen in a better light in retrospect than I ever saw them when they were actually here and I was guarding my daughter like a she-wolf. I think that this is good.
In a few short years, both of them could be bringing home the other son and daughter that I always wished for, but was not able to convince Big Dave we needed to raise. Had more children been here, my life would have been fuller, but the two that I have would not have had the opportunities that they don't yet fully appreciate. We were able to do for two what we could not have possibly done for four. So, I'm counting on the other two...and any grandchildren that they might grace us with in the future...to be mine as well as their Mamas' children. And I hope that their Mamas will love my two as their own. Any Mama that wouldn't love my two is either a really cold person or has some serious issues.
So, I suppose in a way, these "persons of interest" are of huge personal interest to me as well. I'm looking to adopt two children of the heart that I've been praying for over the past couple of decades...and to whom I'm willing to trust the children I've raised. For that reason alone, I don't mind having people in and out of this house. I want to see their faces and know their stories. And I want to be able to enthusiastically give my blessing if he comes to talk to her Daddy one day...or to help him plan an elaborate and wonderful proposal so that he doesn't do something cheesy and pathetic. I couldn't bear that.
I know that I'm early in the game...but in truth...you never really know when that person is going to cross the threshold. And so we wait, and hope and pray. We also go on with our lives...enjoying the times that our family has as a cohesive unit of four. And we expect God's best to come down the path one of these days. Probably when we least expect it...