As some of you know, this summer I took on a nanny job that started in May and ended in August. I knew this from the get-go. Still, this didn’t keep me from getting any less attached or teary-eyed on Wednesday, my official last day.
One of my goals this year was to find a higher paying job than Starbucks. I knew that I liked being around kids and that I had some experience, so I casually posted an ad on craigslist, just to see what would happen. Between a few flukes and a lot of spam, I found Gwen. She sounded sweet on email and on phone, and the picture she sent of her three little girls made my heart melt a bit. But craigslist is like the Match.com of job-finding (and everything else). You never really know what you’re gonna get. Surprisingly, the interview made me think that the family was exactly as wonderful as they they had sounded via the internet. Getting to know them over the past few months has proven to me that they’re way better than any ole email could ever begin to cover. Gwen constantly went out of her way for me to make me feel at home. We’ve never exchanged a cross-word, but instead have shared plenty of stories, compliments, laughs and gossip. The girls, ages one, four, and nine, each have their own distinct personalities and quirks; Even dealing with their tough days became a fun challenge. I would often catch myself glowing as I rambled on about the three of them to my husband. As far as bettering myself goes, I’ve become immeasurable amounts more patient, selfless and understanding in the past four months. My fear of having my own children one day has lessened; I realize that one day I really could make a good, loving and capable mother.
And despite countless fits, poopy diapers and aching arm muscles, I can honestly say I have never worked a job where I have fallen so deeply in love with anyone, let alone three little anyones.
In closing, I’d like to share with you a few of my favorite moments with Miss Grayson. She’s the oldest and the only one not yet back in school. (The other go to Montessori.) The past two weeks, between swimming, shopping, movie-watching, and snack-buying, I’ve had a chance to really get to know her. She has the biggest heart of any nine year old I’ve ever met and I oftentimes have to remind myself that I’m not yet talking to a teenager. I’m constantly amazed and amused with her perfect mix of innocence, knowledge and honesty.
A few examples:
- I had my billfold open and Grayson happened to see a sliver of my driver’s license. She asked to see it and when I handed it to her, she laughed. I knew why. I, for some reason beyond my recent understanding, went through a long stint of thinking I looked good with jet-black hair. I do not look good with jet-black hair. If you don’t believe me, listen to the nine year old:
Grayson: Promise me something?
Grayson: NEVER get that hair color again.
- Two days ago, we were stopped at the gas station when a dude came up and started washing my windshield. He worked for some company and wanted to fix the cracks in my windshield for free too. I figured there was some catch and I had to be somewhere in 15 minutes, so we went back and forth for a while until he finally gave up. When I got back in the car and expressed my annoyance with the persistant dude, this conversation followed:
Grayson: I think he was hitting on you.
Me: (laughter) What? I don’t think so.
Grayson: Yeah, he was hitting on you.
Me: I think he’s probably that nice to anyone he’s trying to sell things to.
Grayson: I think he was wearing a bra.
Here’s us making a cake for her parent’s anniversary on Monday.
- At the end of my last day, I noticed Grayson giving her mom and sister looks and whispers. I knew something was up, but was still more than pleasantly surprised and honored to receive a scrapbook full of the girls, our memories and a sweet letter from both Grayson and her mommy.
“Dear Christina, you make me smile. You are so nice, cool, smart and you are so funny also pretty. (Ps: You are my favorite nanny!) You make me so happpy! You also wear cool clothes can you take care of us next summer? love Grayson.”
Jeeze. Heart. Melting. Her attention to detail also made me smile a lot. She drew me wearing a dress exactly like one that I have, and a t.v. with the show ‘ICarly‘ playing, because she knows I’ve become slightly obsessed with said show in the past months. (Don’t judge me.) When I was getting ready to leave I couldn’t help but want to tear up a little. Mary told me I couldn’t leave and asked me to spend the night, and Poppy (who usually clings to her mom when she’s home) reached for me to hold her. Gwen texted me later telling me that Grayson had “cried and cried (and cried!)” after I left. Gah. I’m about to cry writing this!
Did you know I was such a softy? Because I didn’t. Luckily, there’s still weekends and next summer. It kind of freaks me out that Grayson will be edging eleven by then. When do girls start liking boys? Am I going to have to scare any little dudes away? Hmmm. Things to ponder for next year.