Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Bittersweet Goodbye

This new year is bringing so many new things into our life. Our move to Colorado is almost here. Our dream to be mountain people again is almost our reality! With all the great new things we have coming to us this new year I can't help but feel a bit mournful. I have to leave a family that, without them I may not have moved to Kansas and because of them I was able to stay in Kansas. Their role in my time here has been very significant.

When I accepted the job four and a half years ago I always knew I would eventually leave. This situation was meant to be temporary. I have stayed much longer than anyone anticipated.

I met Kara when she was three months old.  She had a bobbly bald head and big blue eyes.  She was a quiet baby so I did all the talking. I forced her to do tummy time. She hated it and screamed until she learned to roll over. We frequently took walks around the neighborhood. We spent a lot of time together until she was nearly two years old.

That is when we welcomed her baby brother Dean. Dean was a long skinny frog legged baby. Without a doubt he looks just like his daddy. With Kara's help I learned how to care for two children. He joined us on our walks and accompanied me to the coffee shop while Kara participated in play groups.  He grew quick and soon proved to me boys are indeed different than girls no matter what anyone tried to tell me!

A soon as I had handle on two kids baby Elise joined us. She was a petite little thing! She was warmly welcomed by her older siblings and fell easily into the routine of our lives. Being the youngest she quickly learned that if she wanted to be heard she needed a big voice and I assure you she uses it!

Because of these children their parents and I have created a bond far beyond employer/employee. I dare say we are friends. Neither of us had any prior experience so we learned it all together. We discussed baby books, discipline strategies and developmental milestones. We laughed at their antics and lamented potty training. We are united in child rearing.

Now here I am, two weeks away from my last day with them. A day I will have to share with the new nanny.  I am incredibly emotional. I knew this day would come but until now had no idea how hard it would be. These kids are more to me than just a job. They are my kids too.

I'm sure the new nanny will take good care of them, she will figure out their routine and personal quirks. They will play and laugh together. But she won't love them like I do. She won't tear up at the first day of school. It won't tug at her heart when one of them is sick. All the scribbled crayon pictures they give her won't mean the same thing.

We haven't told the kids yet. We are not looking forward to having to have such a tough conversation with little ones who won't fully understand. I worry they won't understand why I'm leaving. I worry they will feel punished. I worry they will forget me.

Being a nanny is not raising someone else's children. It's helping the parents to raise those children and in the process becoming part of the family. Because of this I know that no matter what happens this family will be a part of my life for many years to come.