Long ago, before I began my career as a nanny, I did a stint in college. it was short-lived, and I thank God for that. unlike most, I didn't love college, and it didn't like me much either. after two universities, four semesters, six times changing my major, and zero motivation + direction, my college career ended. I'd be lying if I said I was upset about it—now or then. I've said it once and I'll say it again, school [specifically college] is not for everyone.
but the deal was, as my parents so gently reminded me: if I wasn't attending school, I had to work full time. this was completely fine with me because I'd been working since the age of 12 and had a steady job up until this point. so "work" was nothing new. in fact, by this point, I'd had eleven jobs in about a five year span. have you ever seen Gilmore Girls? think Kirk. my résumé is extensive, with work experience in fields including, but not limited to: salons, spas, sporting goods, retail, food + restaurant industry, and child care. I even worked at a fabric store for a day. literally one  day. when I realized there would be lots of measuring involved... well that's not really my thing, so that was the end of that. I like to think this work experience makes me well-rounded. but the story of my jobs is a story for another time.
in her Sunday school class, my mother had heard of a family in our church who was looking for someone to take care of their children. the hours were good, the pay was great, so I said, "SIGN ME UP!" I'm teasing—I had to go through a strenuous interview process, background check, physical fitness aptitude test, and extensive drug testing. kidding, again. I did meet with them and "interview" if you want to call it that. I liked them immediately. they were a sweet young couple with a little girl and a baby boy.
As I mentioned earlier, I'd been babysitting for years and I'd grown up with younger siblings around, so I felt as if I was readily equipped for such a job as this. in some ways, I was; but in others, I was not. I knew how to change diapers, I like to think I do a good job entertaining, I'm pretty responsible [not so much with academia, but definitely with humans]. I was set. I believe the thing I was most unprepared for is how deeply I'd fall in love with the family. I knew I would grow somewhat attached, but I could never have fathomed the depth.
Two years into this gig, I was ready for another baby. I found another family in our church who'd just had a sweet baby girl earlier that year. I didn't know them well and I don't remember doing this, but one day at church I approached the mother and simply said, "I want to keep your baby while you're at work." for reasons unknown to me, she agreed and Charlie Claire has been a part of our group ever since.
In my small, twenty-year-old brain, I don't think I thought much about the future. I don't think I realized I would fall in love with this job and these people and that I might want to stick around for years and years. have you ever seen The Help? at the end of the movie, a man and his wife offer their housekeeper a job for the rest of her life, as long as she wants it. I've had that same conversation with mine. just call me Minnie. we often joke about me taking care of the children until they graduate high school.
When I first began nannying for them, Alayna was two and Andy was about nine months. when I began keeping Charlie Claire, she was about eight months. this fall, Alayna will turn seven and Andy will turn five. on Charlie Claire's next birthday, she'll turn three. I cannot even believe that. they say time flies when you're having fun, so I must be having a ball.
I've loved this job from the very beginning. and now after four years, we've fallen into a wonderful routine. by the end of the week, I need the weekend. and by the end of the weekend, I'm telling my husband how much I miss my babies.
it has, without a doubt, been the sweetest adventure. I've gotten to witness + be a part of first steps and first words, the transition from a crib to a big boy/girl bed, potty training, losing teeth, countless birthday parties, and so many other wonderful things. I've gotten to love on these babies and be a part of these families and it has blessed me in the richest of ways.
there are moments I feel as if I've caught a small glimpse of the kind of love a parent has for their child. moreover, I've gained a better understanding of our Father's love for us.
I know I won't be able to do this forever, and, as much as I plead with them, the children will grow up. but I'm so grateful for my time with them and all they've taught me and every minute spent together. it's been the best four years of my life.
happy nanniversary to us, sweet babies! here's to four more.