Not having children of her own was a conscious choice, Mrs. Andersen explained.
“How else could I love you enough, Thomas?”
She then reached out her fleshy arms, hugged me, and kissed my forehead. When my mom did anything like that, I’d quince and try to escape. With Mrs. Andersen I’d press against her ample chest, wrap my skinny arms around her; pray that she’d never let go.
We mostly played games, hide and seek, soccer, croquet, but also plated flowers and herbs.
After my nap, we’d sit on the terrace, eat oatmeal cookies, wait for my mom to arrive.