Monday, August 18, 2008

And so a new chapter begins

On Friday we parted ways with our nanny. Rosa was with us for almost three years. That's almost half of our twins' lives. I'm far more traumatized by her departure than they are, at least thus far. We dressed up and took her to a fancy lunch. I brought her back a Thai silk picture frame from my trip and put a picture of her and the kids in it. I went to the bank for a nice parting gift. It's not making me feel any better. As I type this, I'm on the verge of losing it.

It was always the plan to keep her until our twins began first grade. We simply wouldn't need her after that. But I had no idea that the time would race by in warp speed.

My friend Lori, a family court judge and mom in Tuscon, emailed me a post from Penelope Trunk's Brazen Careerist blog early this summer. The gist of Ms. Trunk's post is that celebrities make parenting look easy because they have a well-hidden army of household help.

This was so not our situation. Parenting is a lot of minutia and Dave and I were not too proud to have help as we juggled our work commitments and tried to carve out time to spend with each other, and with the kids individually. Rosa did dance, preschool and kindergarten drop off so our neighbors, and the teachers, mommies and other nannies knew her well. She hosted playdates at our house and at the park. She went to storytime at the library. She'd do the occasional run to the post office or grocery store. One Wednesday I took the kids to a place I'd never been, our local donut shop. The owner greeted them by name and said to me, "You must be their Mom. Rosa's off today?"

I knew she was a catch based on the number of people who tried to poach her over the years. (I confronted one of them at a birthday party. It was ugly.) We will be forever grateful to my husband's colleague, who introduced us.

The thing is, she kept us sane. Three kids. Two careers. She made it all work. And I'm a little scared now.

Fortunately, Rosa's now in a position to work toward one of her dreams, perfecting her English. After a few weeks' vacation "home" she'll take English courses and continue to work for the family we've always shared her with.

Our kids have learned the importance of making their beds, and where their clothes go once they're folded. They know how to empty the dishwasher and put their shoes in the cupboard as they enter the house. They know that brushing their teeth is a prerequisite to coming downstairs in the morning. And they know that Rosa loved them, perhaps as much as Mommy and Daddy.


Paige said...

Alright, now I'm crying for you reading this! I truly admire all you and dave are able to accomplish, and definitely be full time parents despite your busy schedules. Cracking up about the donut shop.

Amy S. said...

I will miss Rosa too - she was a lovely face to see at pick up/drop-off!