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新视野大学英语_新视野大学英语3读写教程课文unit9 Premarital Agreements

Section(A)

Premarital Agreements
A future husband wanted to be sure that if his marriage didn't work out, he could keep his treasuredice-cream collection safely stored away in a freezer. A woman insisted on verifying who would walk thedog. One man wanted the right to get a divorce if his bride-to-be gained more than 15 pounds once shebecame his wife.
These are some of the crazier clauses of prenuptial agreements. But make no mistake about it, whatmost of them are about is money — and how financial assets will be divided up if a couple divorces. Anddivorce with its accompanying money problems is common in the United States.
Prenuptial agreements — or "prenups" — are designed to address these problems as they arise.
Prenups are negotiated by lawyers for the prospective spouses, and signed before a minister bindsthem in marriage. They have been gaining in acceptance in the United States since the early 1980s,when more states began passing laws that affected the division of financial assets in a divorce. The lawsare based either on "community property" (split evenly) or on "reasonable distribution" (whatever ajudge thinks is "fair").
The prenups of the famous make the headlines: lawyers for Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis contestedthe prenuptial agreement between her and Aristotle Onassis after his death, reportedly winning $26million in an out-of-court settlement.
But prenuptial agreements are also for lesser known, although wealthy folks. "It's because divorcehas such great economic consequences, and successive marriages have become so common," said afamily law lawyer.
A typical candidate for a prenuptial agreement is a man who has accumulated considerable wealth,has already been stung once, and wants to reduce his exposure to future problems. "They want tomake their own arrangements, rather than let a court decide," said the president of the New Yorkchapter of the American Academy of Marriage Lawyers.
Protecting children from a previous marriage is a strong reason for prenuptial contracts. "Someonemay have an estate of $1 billion and he may not want a second spouse to get a payment of half a billion.
He may want more for his children," said a lawyer. The effort to shield assets to be passed on tochildren and grandchildren is making prenups more common among retired people in their 60s and70s who are remarrying after a spouse has died.
Another situation that calls for premarital agreements occurs when a potential spouse has, or is inline for, great inherited wealth or a family business, especially if the future partner has little or nothingat all.
But even when both parties have signed such an agreement, it can be impossible to enforce it incourt if proper guidelines have not been followed. A lawyer is required to write the document, formistakes in language — even a misplaced preposition — can be disastrous. But never, ever, warnmarriage law consultants, should you use the same lawyer as your future spouse does.
Another problem is a prenuptial agreement signed under pressure. To avoid this, some lawyers willnot draw up an agreement once a wedding date has been set. "I figure there's a sword hanging overtheir head, and that's pressure," they said. Such lawyers counsel their clients never to send outwedding invitations until both signatures are on an agreement.
But not everyone takes this advice. A classic example is cited by lawyers: "An agreement is stuckunder somebody's nose on the day of the wedding — and it's usually a 'she' — and she signs, but doesn'teven read it." Another lawyer recalled one awkward episode where the two sides were still editing thecontract, arguing over what to keep and delete, as 150 wedding guests were arriving for the wedding.
When an agreement could not be forged, the wedding was canceled.
A dispute can also break out over prenuptial agreements if a couple decides to divorce while livingabroad, or when they have different passports. A lawyer in a London law firm that often handlesdivorces for British-American couples noted that in Britain, prenuptial agreements were "just aboutignored" by the courts because English law says that circumstances of a marriage aren't static, andtherefore a judge should decide how financial assets will be divided.
That can lead to "court-shopping", since what matters is the law of the country where the couple isgetting divorced. He gave the following example: "A wealthy Mr. Ed Smith gets married to Mrs.Smith,and they enter into a New York prenuptial contract. They live in England, and then decide to getdivorced. English lawyers will say to Mrs. Smith, 'No, that contract is not valid,' while Mr.Smith willwant it to be an American case. The issue of where it will be held can greatly multiply the amount oftime required to reach a settlement."Romantic love has no bearing on this process, say these lawyers, who consider prenups to bebusiness agreements. Their justification: some 50 percent of all marriages in the United States end upon the trash heap.
Moreover, the discussions for a prenuptial agreement, which involve laying bare all one's finances,sometimes save a couple from a terrible marriage. "It sheds light on issues which could later widen andresult in divorce," said a lawyer.
But there is still hope. "Many people sign an agreement, put it in a drawer and never look at itagain," the lawyer added.
Words: 902
New Words
■marital a. 婚姻的;夫妻的
premarital a. 婚前的
ice-cream n. 冰淇淋
collection n. 1.收藏品,收集的东西 2.收集,收取
verify vt. 证明,证实,核实
clause n. 1.条款,款项 2.分句,从句
■nuptial a. 婚姻的,结婚的
◆prenuptial a. 结婚前的
bind vt. 1.连结,联合,结合 2.捆绑,捆扎 3.迫使,约束
acceptance n. 1.接受,接纳 2.赞同,承认
division n. 1.分开,划分 2.分歧 3.部门
headline n. 标题;新闻提要
contest v. 1.质疑,辩驳 2.争取,争夺;与……竞争
n. 1.竞赛,比赛 2.争夺,竞争
candidate n. 候选人;参加考试者
sting vt. 1.激怒,刺痛 2.刺伤,蛰伤
n. 刺痛,刺伤
exposure n. 暴露,曝光,揭露
chapter n. 1.支部,分会 2.章,回
payment n. 支付的款项
shield vt. 防护,保护,庇护
n. 防护物,护罩,盾(状物)
retire v. 1.(使)退休,(使)退役 2.退下,离开
retired a. 退休了的
enforce vt. 1.使生效,实施,执行 2.强迫,迫使
preposition n. 介词
consultant n. 顾问
sword n. 剑
invitation n. 1.邀请;邀请信 2.引诱,诱惑
signature n. 签名;签字
cite vt. 1.引用,引证 2.(军队的)传令嘉奖
awkward a. 1.困窘的,尴尬的 2.难操纵的,使用不便的 3.笨拙的,不灵巧的
edit vt. 编辑,剪辑,校订
delete vt. 删掉,划去(文字)
forge vt. 1.锻造,锤炼;使形成 2.伪造,假冒,仿造
dispute n. 争端,分歧
v. 1.争论,争吵,辩论 2.对……表示异议,反对,辩驳
passport n. 护照
circumstance n. 情形,情况,状况
static a. 静止的,不变的
bearing n. 1.关系,影响 2.举止,姿态 3.方位,方向
▲justification n. 正当的理由
heap n. 1.一堆 2.大量,许多
vt. (使)堆起
shed vt. 1.流出,流下,发出 2.去掉,摆脱 3.脱落,脱去
n. 棚,小屋
drawer n. 抽屉
Phrases and Expressions
work out 发展很好;证明是成功的
store away 收起来,储存,储备
insist on/upon 坚决要求 坚持认为
make no mistake (about sth.) 别弄错了;毫无疑问
gain in 得到更多的……
make/hit the headlines 成为头条新闻
call for 需求,要求
be in line for 即将获得,很可能得到
under pressure 在压力下,在强力下
draw up 写出,制定 (使)停住
send out 发出,寄出
take advice 采纳某人的意见
under sb.'s nose 就在... ...面前
argue over/about 为……争论,争吵
break out 突然开始,爆发 逃离
just about 几乎,非常接近
lead to 导致
enter into sth. 开始讨论;着手处理
have no bearing on 与……无关
end up 结束,告终
lay bare 揭示,说出
shed/throw/cast light on (使)更容易理解
Proper Names
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis 杰奎琳·肯尼迪·奥纳西斯
Aristotle Onassis 亚里士多德·奥纳西斯
American Academy of Marriage Lawyers 美国婚姻法律师协会
Ed Smith 艾德·史密斯

英语学习

Section(A)
Premarital Agreements
A future husband wanted to be sure that if his marriage didn't work out, he could keep his treasuredice-cream collection safely stored away in a freezer. A woman insisted on verifying who would walk thedog. One man wanted the right to get a divorce if his bride-to-be gained more than 15 pounds once shebecame his wife.
These are some of the crazier clauses of prenuptial agreements. But make no mistake about it, whatmost of them are about is money — and how financial assets will be divided up if a couple divorces. Anddivorce with its accompanying money problems is common in the United States.
Prenuptial agreements — or "prenups" — are designed to address these problems as they arise.
Prenups are negotiated by lawyers for the prospective spouses, and signed before a minister bindsthem in marriage. They have been gaining in acceptance in the United States since the early 1980s,when more states began passing laws that affected the division of financial assets in a divorce. The lawsare based either on "community property" (split evenly) or on "reasonable distribution" (whatever ajudge thinks is "fair").
The prenups of the famous make the headlines: lawyers for Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis contestedthe prenuptial agreement between her and Aristotle Onassis after his death, reportedly winning $26million in an out-of-court settlement.
But prenuptial agreements are also for lesser known, although wealthy folks. "It's because divorcehas such great economic consequences, and successive marriages have become so common," said afamily law lawyer.
A typical candidate for a prenuptial agreement is a man who has accumulated considerable wealth,has already been stung once, and wants to reduce his exposure to future problems. "They want tomake their own arrangements, rather than let a court decide," said the president of the New Yorkchapter of the American Academy of Marriage Lawyers.
Protecting children from a previous marriage is a strong reason for prenuptial contracts. "Someonemay have an estate of $1 billion and he may not want a second spouse to get a payment of half a billion.
He may want more for his children," said a lawyer. The effort to shield assets to be passed on tochildren and grandchildren is making prenups more common among retired people in their 60s and70s who are remarrying after a spouse has died.
Another situation that calls for premarital agreements occurs when a potential spouse has, or is inline for, great inherited wealth or a family business, especially if the future partner has little or nothingat all.
But even when both parties have signed such an agreement, it can be impossible to enforce it incourt if proper guidelines have not been followed. A lawyer is required to write the document, formistakes in language — even a misplaced preposition — can be disastrous. But never, ever, warnmarriage law consultants, should you use the same lawyer as your future spouse does.
Another problem is a prenuptial agreement signed under pressure. To avoid this, some lawyers willnot draw up an agreement once a wedding date has been set. "I figure there's a sword hanging overtheir head, and that's pressure," they said. Such lawyers counsel their clients never to send outwedding invitations until both signatures are on an agreement.
But not everyone takes this advice. A classic example is cited by lawyers: "An agreement is stuckunder somebody's nose on the day of the wedding — and it's usually a 'she' — and she signs, but doesn'teven read it." Another lawyer recalled one awkward episode where the two sides were still editing thecontract, arguing over what to keep and delete, as 150 wedding guests were arriving for the wedding.
When an agreement could not be forged, the wedding was canceled.
A dispute can also break out over prenuptial agreements if a couple decides to divorce while livingabroad, or when they have different passports. A lawyer in a London law firm that often handlesdivorces for British-American couples noted that in Britain, prenuptial agreements were "just aboutignored" by the courts because English law says that circumstances of a marriage aren't static, andtherefore a judge should decide how financial assets will be divided.
That can lead to "court-shopping", since what matters is the law of the country where the couple isgetting divorced. He gave the following example: "A wealthy Mr. Ed Smith gets married to Mrs.Smith,and they enter into a New York prenuptial contract. They live in England, and then decide to getdivorced. English lawyers will say to Mrs. Smith, 'No, that contract is not valid,' while Mr.Smith willwant it to be an American case. The issue of where it will be held can greatly multiply the amount oftime required to reach a settlement."Romantic love has no bearing on this process, say these lawyers, who consider prenups to bebusiness agreements. Their justification: some 50 percent of all marriages in the United States end upon the trash heap.
Moreover, the discussions for a prenuptial agreement, which involve laying bare all one's finances,sometimes save a couple from a terrible marriage. "It sheds light on issues which could later widen andresult in divorce," said a lawyer.
But there is still hope. "Many people sign an agreement, put it in a drawer and never look at itagain," the lawyer added.
Words: 902
New Words
■marital a. 婚姻的;夫妻的
premarital a. 婚前的
ice-cream n. 冰淇淋
collection n. 1.收藏品,收集的东西 2.收集,收取
verify vt. 证明,证实,核实
clause n. 1.条款,款项 2.分句,从句
■nuptial a. 婚姻的,结婚的
◆prenuptial a. 结婚前的
bind vt. 1.连结,联合,结合 2.捆绑,捆扎 3.迫使,约束
acceptance n. 1.接受,接纳 2.赞同,承认
division n. 1.分开,划分 2.分歧 3.部门
headline n. 标题;新闻提要
contest v. 1.质疑,辩驳 2.争取,争夺;与……竞争
n. 1.竞赛,比赛 2.争夺,竞争
candidate n. 候选人;参加考试者
sting vt. 1.激怒,刺痛 2.刺伤,蛰伤
n. 刺痛,刺伤
exposure n. 暴露,曝光,揭露
chapter n. 1.支部,分会 2.章,回
payment n. 支付的款项
shield vt. 防护,保护,庇护
n. 防护物,护罩,盾(状物)
retire v. 1.(使)退休,(使)退役 2.退下,离开
retired a. 退休了的
enforce vt. 1.使生效,实施,执行 2.强迫,迫使
preposition n. 介词
consultant n. 顾问
sword n. 剑
invitation n. 1.邀请;邀请信 2.引诱,诱惑
signature n. 签名;签字
cite vt. 1.引用,引证 2.(军队的)传令嘉奖
awkward a. 1.困窘的,尴尬的 2.难操纵的,使用不便的 3.笨拙的,不灵巧的
edit vt. 编辑,剪辑,校订
delete vt. 删掉,划去(文字)
forge vt. 1.锻造,锤炼;使形成 2.伪造,假冒,仿造
dispute n. 争端,分歧
v. 1.争论,争吵,辩论 2.对……表示异议,反对,辩驳
passport n. 护照
circumstance n. 情形,情况,状况
static a. 静止的,不变的
bearing n. 1.关系,影响 2.举止,姿态 3.方位,方向
▲justification n. 正当的理由
heap n. 1.一堆 2.大量,许多
vt. (使)堆起
shed vt. 1.流出,流下,发出 2.去掉,摆脱 3.脱落,脱去
n. 棚,小屋
drawer n. 抽屉
Phrases and Expressions
work out 发展很好;证明是成功的
store away 收起来,储存,储备
insist on/upon 坚决要求 坚持认为
make no mistake (about sth.) 别弄错了;毫无疑问
gain in 得到更多的……
make/hit the headlines 成为头条新闻
call for 需求,要求
be in line for 即将获得,很可能得到
under pressure 在压力下,在强力下
draw up 写出,制定 (使)停住
send out 发出,寄出
take advice 采纳某人的意见
under sb.'s nose 就在... ...面前
argue over/about 为……争论,争吵
break out 突然开始,爆发 逃离
just about 几乎,非常接近
lead to 导致
enter into sth. 开始讨论;着手处理
have no bearing on 与……无关
end up 结束,告终
lay bare 揭示,说出
shed/throw/cast light on (使)更容易理解
Proper Names
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis 杰奎琳·肯尼迪·奥纳西斯
Aristotle Onassis 亚里士多德·奥纳西斯
American Academy of Marriage Lawyers 美国婚姻法律师协会
Ed Smith 艾德·史密斯

Section(B)
Is the Traditional Family Structure at Risk?
Around the world, in rich and poor countries alike, the structure of family life is undergoing extremechanges, a new analysis of research from numerous countries has concluded.
“The idea that the family is a stable and orderly unit in which father serves as economic providerand mother serves as emotional care giver is a myth,” said Judith Bruce, a leading author of the study.
“The reality is that trends like unmarried mothers, rising divorce rates and smaller households are notunique to America, but are occurring worldwide.”
The report was released Tuesday by the Population Council, an international organization based inNew York that studies issues related to child bearing. Its graphs combine information obtained from avariety of population and household studies from dozens of countries.
A summary of the major findings:
— Whether because of abandonment, separation, divorce or death of a spouse, marriages aredissolving with increasing frequency. In many developed countries, divorce rates doubled between1970 and 1990, and in less-developed countries, about a quarter of first marriages end by the timewomen are in their 40s.
— Parents in their prime working years face growing burdens caring for children, who need to besupported through more years of education, and for their own parents, who are living longer.
— Unmarried mothers are increasingly common virtually everywhere, reaching as many as a thirdof all births in the north of Europe, for example.
— Children in single-parent households — usually families with only a mother present — are muchmore likely to be overtaken by poverty than those who live with two parents, largely because of theloss of support from the fathers.
— Even in households where fathers are present, mothers are carrying increasing economicresponsibility for children.
The theme that families are changing in similar ways, even in very different cultures, should bringabout new thinking on social policy, experts say, and in particular an increase in the importance offamilies in the agenda of governments.
The Population Council report says women around the world tend to work longer hours than men,both at home and on the job. In studies of seventeen less-developed countries, women's work hoursexceeded men’s by 30 percent. Data from twelve industrialized countries found that women employedin regular jobs worked about 20 percent longer hours than regularly employed men.
Women's economic contributions also are becoming increasingly important.
In Ghana, the report said, a third of households with children are maintained primarily by women.
In the Philippines, women were found to contribute about a third of households’ cash income, but 55percent of household support if the economic value of their activities at home, such as growing food orgathering hay to feed the family donkey, is included.
In the United States, a survey released earlier this month found that nearly half of employedmarried women contribute half or more of their family’s income.
While the reasons for entering the work force may vary from country to country, womeneverywhere are finding that to give their children an adequate life, getting a job is no longer optional.
High rates of inflation may raise prices to the point where women are forced to earn moneythemselves.
“In traditional Bangladesh, a woman may need to get a job weaving textiles because her husbandwas much older, and died while the children were still young,” Ms.Bruce said. “In Africa, an eighteen-year-old woman might need a job because she had a baby before marriage and has only a casualrelationship with the father, or she might have a husband who goes on to another marriage andsupports the children of that union.”
“In Asia,” she added, “the husband may have migrated for better economic opportunities andstopped sending money after a year or two. And everywhere, parents are finding that there are fewerjobs that pay enough to allow a family to scrape by financially.” Even among rural people in less-developed countries, she said, the need for currency is becoming more urgent.
“Parents all over the world have an increasing awareness of the importance of learning, and thattheir children will need to be able to read and write and use numbers,” Ms.Bruce said. “That meansthat instead of working with them in the fields, their 6-year-old is in school learning the alphabet andhow to add and subtract. As there are usually no scholarships, the money to pay for school fees,uniforms, transportation and supplies must come from the parents' purse.” The fact that manydeveloping countries must trim money from public education as part of their debt-reduction planscreates further pressure on families, she said.
One apparent exception to the general trends is Japan, where single-parent households andunmarried mothers have remained relatively rare.
The Population Council report found that while most countries have done extensive research onwomen as mothers, men as fathers have been virtually invisible to researchers. But studies have foundthat although fathers' income usually exceeds mothers' income, women usually contribute a largerproportion of their income to their household, while men keep more for their personal use, such as forentertainment.
Collecting child support (money paid by divorced fathers to support their children) is also difficult.
Among divorced fathers, three quarters in Japan, almost two thirds in Argentina, half in Malaysia andtwo fifths in the United States do not pay child support, the report said.
Words: 908
New Words
undergo vt. 经历,经受,忍受
conclude v. 1.推断,得出结论 2.结束
orderly a. 整齐的,井然有序的
council n. 理事会,委员会
graph n. 图表,曲线图
finding n. 调查(或研究)的结果
dissolve v. 1.(使)结束,(使)解体 2.溶解
burden n. 重负;(责任、义务等的)重担
vt. 加负荷于;使挑重担
north n. 北方,北部
a. 北方的,北部的,向北的
ad. 向北,朝北
overtake v. 1.突然降临于,意外侵袭 2.追上,赶上,超过
theme n. 题目,主题
agenda n. 议程
maintain vt. 1.支撑;赡养,抚养 2.维持,保有
contribute v. 1.捐献,贡献 2.投稿 3.有助于,促成
hay n. (用作饲料或覆盖的)干草
donkey n. 驴
vary v. (使)不同,更改,改变
adequate a. 足够的;令人满意的
optional a. 可任意选择的,非强制的,随意的
inflation n. 通货膨胀
weave v. 1.编织 2.编造,汇编
textile n. 纺织品,织物
casual a. 1.漠不关心的,不经意的 2.(衣服等)非正式的,随便的 3.偶尔的,偶然的
▲migrate vi. 1.移居,迁移 2.迁徙,定期迁移;洄游
scrape v. 1.勉强维持 2.刮,擦
n. 1.刮,擦;刮擦声 2.(因愚蠢行为而造成的)困境
currency n. 1.货币,通货 2.流传,通用
urgent a. 紧急的,急迫的,紧要的
alphabet n. 字母表
subtract v. 减去,扣除
scholarship n. 1.奖学金 2.学问,学识
purse n. (女式)钱包
trim vt. 1.削减,减少,缩减 2.修理,修剪
invisible a. 看不见的
entertainment n. 1.娱乐;招待 2.娱乐活动,文娱节目
Phrases and Expressions
serve as 担任... ...;作... ...用,起... ...作用
be related to 与... ...相关,与... ...有联系
dozens of 许多,数十个
by the time 到... ...的时候
care for 照看,看护
bring about 使发生
in particular 特别地,尤其 特别的
to the point 达到... ...的程度
go on to 转入
scrape by 勉强维持
instead of 代替,而不是
Proper Names
Judith Bruce 朱迪斯·布鲁斯
the Population Council 人口委员会
Ghana 加纳(西非国家)
the Philippines 菲律宾(东南亚国家)
Bangladesh 孟加拉国(南亚国家)
Africa 非洲
Asia 亚洲
Argentina 阿根廷(南美洲中南部国家)
Malaysia 马来西亚(东南亚国家)

Section(C)
A Male Nanny
The woman next to me in the bread café on 67th Street wants to know how much my baby weighs. Idon't tell her that he's not my baby because I'm tired of explaining. Instead, I look at Sam's year-oldbody. I have never been good at guessing weight, but I know Sam feels awfully heavy when I carryhim around the city all day.
“Forty pounds,” I tell her, none too confidently.
“Forty,” she says. “I don't think so. Try somewhere around twenty.”
Sam twists in my arms and I look at my watch. Ann, his mom, is due back from her hairappointment any minute. In the meantime, I bounce Sam, sip my coffee and wait.
“Honestly,” the woman says to her friend, “what kind of parent doesn't know how much his childweighs?”
I want to tell her that I'm Sam's nanny, but I don't because I'm a guy — a “nanny”, you might say.
Whenever someone learns that I'm taking care of Sam, they turn on me — telling me not to bounce himtoo much or he'll throw up, demanding that I give him another bottle of milk.
I have two younger sisters. I was a summer camp counselor for five years. I had a girlfriend withyoung nephews. I read the books What to Expect the First Year and What to Expect the Toddler (刚学会走路的小孩 ) Years. My experience with kids is probably just as good as, if not better than, any highschool girl who watches kids. Still, I'm not the one thing almost everyone thinks I should be for this job— a woman.
When I look up, Ann is walking through the door. She kisses Sam, then looks at me. “How was he?”
“Fine,” I tell her. “How much does he weigh?”
“Twenty-three pounds. Why?”
“No reason.” I say.
I'm sitting on a bench at the playground, eating a chicken salad next to four woman nannies, all twicemy age. Sam is now a year and a half old, big enough to cross the playground's bouncy bridge himself. Iwatch him and the other children jump up and down.
“I didn't get paid until last Thursday,” one woman says. She takes a bite of her sandwich. “Olivertried to cheat me on the extra hours I worked.” Everyone nods, sympathetically.
“You guys get extra pay?” I ask.
“After 40 hours a week,” someone says. “Don't you pay your nanny that way?” one of them asks me.
“No,” I tell them. “I AM the nanny.”
They stare at me with suspicion.
Is it really that big of a deal? Women are soldiers, truck drivers, and construction workers. Whycan't a man be a nanny? I began watching Sam as a favor to Ann when I was in graduate school. BeforeI knew it, though, I slipped into the nanny position almost full time. It's a job I like, and it helped payfor school. But why does everyone have a problem with it?
Insulted, I throw my lunch into the trash barrel and let Sam lead me to the swings. I tell him to holdtight, and back and forth he goes.
“How old is he?” the woman at the next swing wants to know. She has a French accent and looks tohave much energy to be a new mother.
“About 17 months.” I say. “And I'm 324 months.”
She gives me a wary (谨慎的) smile. Her baby is in the bucket swing, big brown eyes and wild curlyhair.
“She looks like you,” I tell her.
“Thanks,” she says. “He has your blue eyes.”
“Oh, no. He's not mine. I'm his nanny.”
She keeps pushing her baby. “A male nanny,” she says. “How unique.”
We look at the children, and I feel better. Across the playground, a girl falls off the bottom of theslide and bursts into tears. One of the nannies I lunched with rushes over and picks her up and brushesdirt from her knees.
“Do you think she's all right?” I ask.
“She's fine,” the French woman says. “Kids fall all the time.”
But then Sam lets go of the swing. He flies into the air and lands face down in the dirt.
“Sam!” I scream. I pick him up and wipe the dirt from his face. He looks like he is going to cry butlaughs instead.
“You know,” the woman says. “If you're going to take care of him, you really should be more careful.

Sam is almost 2 now. I've decided to go to his mother with my problem. One day while we are ridingthe subway, I ask, “What are the reasons you picked me to watch Sam?”
“What kind of question is that?” Ann says.
“I'm just wondering.”
“Because he loves you,” she says. “You make him laugh. You sing songs with him. You've read hisfavorite book to him a thousand times.”
“But I don't know how much he weighs. And I never can keep track of how many months old he is.”
“So what?” she says. “I trust you. Besides, you guys are great friends.”
The train comes to a stop and Ann gets off. “Have fun, you guys,” she calls back. Next to us, an oldwoman asks “What's his name?” “Sam.” I start to tell her that I'm his nanny, but then I rememberwhat Ann just said. 


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