Today I’m back with a continuation of last Nathan’s post in which he talked a little about his experiences in au pair program. This time he’s answering your questions that I’ve been saving for around two years now regarding beginnings of our relationship. So far you’ve seen everything through my eyes so now it’s time for the other side! Nate didn’t have any problem with talking about it a little but the truth is that it all isn’t even half of the whole story and I’d like you to remember that because no, I’m still not talking about all the details from our lives 🙂.
1. Were you afraid of people’s reactions when you and Aga became a couple? That they would think she was here for a Green Card or money and nothing else or something like that?
No, I wasn’t very concerned about this. I had no doubts myself and others are free to react according to their own suspicions. I felt no threat from the opinion of others. I also like to believe that my friends respect me enough to trust that I know what’s best for me.
2. When did you first feel that there’s something more between you and Aga?
This is hard to say because I was discovering a new way of relating to her. I wanted to talk with her and get to know her as a person as soon as she was comfortably moved in. Within the first week I invited her to go for a walk in some trails behind our neighborhood. It was fall and I still remember the crunching of the leaves below our feet. In fact, we had to stop at times in order to hear each other more clearly. Agnieszka shared quite a bit about herself. I learned that her mother had died when she was seven, that she was amazed by the warmth and mutual respect in my relationship with Alicia, and that she had never felt loved by her father. At the end of our walk I looked at her and said that I could still see that 7-year old girl standing in front of me. I felt great compassion for her. After our talk had ended, I spent the next few days thinking about how I could help. I felt that I had plenty of love to spare. A few days later we went to a restaurant and as we talked it came to me. I told her that I would give her the same love and respect that I gave to my daughter. Agnieszka tacitly accepted my offer. I forget how I further explained it to her, but we both knew that our relationship had changed profoundly. We weren’t a couple, and we weren’t father/daughter. We were just good friends. In the world I am making, friends love each other and aren’t afraid to say it.
In the following weeks we were as best friends, sometimes keeping each other up all night talking. Not just talking, but sharing ourselves. Agnieszka was shocked at how readily she surrendered her most carefully guarded secrets. It was an amazing time for me. For the first time in a very long time, I felt free to speak from my heart. I felt that my thoughts, feelings, and the words used to convey them were prized by Agnieszka.
It was a few more weeks until I began to see Agnieszka as a beautiful woman. We met on the stairs to discuss something mundane. We were pretty close to each other when I was blown away by the sight of her eyes. After this meeting, I began pursuing a more intimate relationship.
3. What did you do when you had that feeling?
Nothing. The relationship was rewarding as it was and I felt confident that we would continue to become more intimate as time passed.
4. Who made the first move?
I did. No details.
5. One of the readers said that you’re acting like some kind of a “guru”, that Aga treats you like this and she does everything you say all the time without putting any doubts in anything, she just follows you in everything. How would you respond to that?
I’ve been interested in philosophy and making sense of my experience of the world since adolescence. It has been a long process but I’m quite satisfied with the wisdom I’ve so far accumulated. I have no need for Aga or anyone else to believe the things that I believe. I share my feelings and opinions openly, retell the experiences that shaped those opinions, and leave it to the listener to accept, reject, or even to leave them unconsidered. We have both learned many things from each other. There are areas such as vaccinations, cancer, and diet, in which Aga has invested a lot of study and soul searching. I am happy to lean upon her understanding of those and other topics. So yes, I am probably very influential, but not in the manner of a guru, but more because of the respect that I show for the experience of others. I believe that others are on their own unique procession that may take them via different paths and even to entirely different destinations.
6. Were you ever concerned about the age difference between you and Aga?
Concerned? No. Appreciative? Yes. I admire the vitality and beauty of youth.
7. What do you think about the fact that she doesn’t have a job? Have you ever felt used this way? Do you think she should contribute to the family more?
While I can appreciate the concern that everyone with this opinion has for my welfare, I feel that I do an adequate job of asserting my needs on my own. And as for jobs and money. I am compensated well enough that I value other means of contributing much more than the extra income a job would bring.
8. Did you know anything about Poland when you decided to pick Aga?
Nope. I just figured they were all good catholics with pictures of St. John Paul on their walls and were very, very white.
9. What were your impressions from your trip to Poland?
I wasn’t far off. Although I was dismayed at the amount of cigarette smoking in public areas.
10. A lot of people think that Aga should teach April Polish from the very beginning so that she’ll be more intelligent, smarter, she’ll have more opportunities to find a good job and she’ll be more able to learn more languages in the future. What do you think about Aga’s decision not to teach April Polish unless April asks for it?
I don’t believe that learning a second language early in life makes one more intelligent. I also don’t believe that it is necessarily easier or faster to learn a language while young. Rather, I believe that if a person is allowed to learn in a natural, self-directed manner, the ease of learning does not diminish over time. My eldest daughter Alicia learned conversational Manderin (Chinese) during a 6-week visit at the age of six while having had no instruction from her mother or anyone else. All that was necessary was for her to become interested in learning the language and an opportunity to do so. Aga’s position on this regarding April would allow for the same results with her. I suspect that behind the concern in this question is more a fear that April will not develop an interest in Polish if given the choice. I do not care either way. But trying to influence her interests under the pretense of helping her (“it’s for your own good”) would very likely result in a frustrated parent, a less happy child, and a weaker and less satisfying relationship for both. I’ll pass on that.
I’m curious how you see all that now! I’m glad I finally made it to add this post because I wanted to do it for a long time now. And this short series of post with Nathan’s answers for your questions is the first one and probably the last one for a long time, maybe even forever.
Talk to you next time!
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