"Are you sure?" Max looked at his niece Rosie, in a whole different light. She was all alone, at the diner. She'd rode her bike from the south side of Omaha, and had came for a job. "I mean, you babysit?"
Max gritted a smile. Wasn't she in grade school?
"I can do it, Uncle Max." She pleaded her case. Summer was coming. "Just give me a chance." She would be in fifth grade. Granted, she looked plenty old enough. Middle school age, in fact. She handed over all her credentials. She'd gone to Girl Scout workshops, more than once. She'd learned CPR at the library. "I want to help."
But she wanted to be paid, too.
"I could do it, on weekends, now..and and when summer comes.." She shrugged with a smile.
"OK." He got it. He almost chuckled. Almost. He went to get her a strawberry milkshake. But he sent her father a text, too. Did he know his daughter wanted to baby sit Mandy?
Max came back with the shake and sat across from her at the booth.
"So how is everyone doing these days?" He shrugged.
Rosie shrugged, a bit indifferent. She wasn't quite smiling like he remembered.
"You know, Jai, went to live with his Dad." Rosie pressed her lips tight, but finally took a sip of the thick pink shake.
"Jai?" Max looked at her blankly. He needed to refresh his memory. "Oh, yeah, he's your step-brother?"
"I guess, you miss him?"
She shrugged like she didn't, but Max was sure that wasn't the case. She used say Jai was her boyfriend, but they were practically preschooler then.
"I have to keep busy." She told him how she'd been one of the best, at Girl Scout Cookie sales. "And..and I know I'd make a great babysitter."
"Daddy told me, Daisy left." Her eyes were so big with wonder.
"Well, she..just left for an internship." Max tried to smile. "She'll be back."
"We'll see..what we can work out, you know, for the summer." Max told her.
"Just give me a chance. I promise, I'll do a good job." Rosie was serious.
Max smiled more. It was good to hear from her. But he felt a bit emotional, as tears surfaced. He thought of Rosie's mother. Funny, how he almost forgot he was an uncle, until now.