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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Saying Goodbye

Today my daughter and I had a lunch out with my daughter's nanny who is leaving for a job in California.  It feels funny calling her a nanny because what she really became was part of our family.  She watched my daughter from the time she was 6 and a half months old.  She was there for her first steps and first words.  She treated my daughter like family and we all in turn grew to love her like family.

I still remember the day I met her at the Starbucks by my home.  My Mom was in town visiting so she came with me to interview her.  I knew we had struck gold when we found her, I felt it in my gut. She was in her mid 20s, energetic, personable, genuine, reliable, funny and  to top that off, a nurse on the postpartum unit at a nearby hospital.  Why did she want to watch an infant for a day and a half a week?  She told me she actually really liked kids and wanted something that wasn't stressful in the same way that work could be at times.  I feared immediately that she was overqualified and would leave us immediately, but that didn't happen.  She stayed until my daughter was ready to move onto preschool.

She spent her days with my daughter always doing something fun for kids.  Going to parks, playgrounds, the mall, lunch, taking her anywhere and everywhere, we trusted her completely.  She handled my daughter with love, affection and with ease.  When I came home from work we would always chat for awhile about their day together, but also about what was going on in our lives.  As a new Mother, leaving my daughter for a full day with anyone initially left me with tons of anxiety, but with her, I never felt that.  I always had the feeling that she could handle everything, sometimes better than I felt I could.

My daughter loves her which was clear today when she saw her.  After having started preschool, she hasn't seen her in a couple of months, but when she saw her she lit up.  It was "JoJo", my daughter's nickname for her.  My daughter snuggled up to her and hugged her with pure delight, she was squealing, and I was getting emotional.  My daughter was growing up.  But here in front of me was someone that I hadn't realized I had become so attached to and grown to care so much about because she cared for the most precious thing I could ever have in this world, my daughter.  As I watched my daughter hug her goodbye in the parking lot, I could feel a lump in my throat, but the full waterworks were getting close when JoJo went to leave and my daughter ran after her to her to give her one more hug.  She loves her, I could see it, and it made me feel so many different emotions from being grateful to having someone so special watch my daughter to being so sad that she was leaving.  We watched JoJo go to her car and my daughter said "we watch JoJo", so we stood in the parking lot waiting for her to pass us in her car as we waved our final goodbye.  I strapped my daughter into her carseat, got into the car and started to cry.  I didn't realize how attached I had become because essentially in taking such wonderful care of my daughter, she took care of me too and for that, I am truly grateful.

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