Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Reflections on a Year Well-Spent.

Its hard to believe, but I've now been a nanny for a year now. For one whole year of this child's life, I have been with him more than anyone. That knowledge is rather sobering. I am forming a child's life. Of course the parents have a large part in this, but so do I especially now that he's starting to learn and understand speech. These are his formative years. I have the opportunity to help him learn and grow and the responsibility not to screw him up for life. He has wonderful foundations. His mom is a wonderful person who truly loves her son. When I came in for the interview, I was so nervous because I was anticipating a huge house with parents who didn't really care about their child at all and just wanted someone to take them off their hands. I remember pulling up to the house and being relieved that it was a pretty small house and not in a ritzy area. When I was in the interview, I was struck by the sense that this woman truly loved her son. I felt comfortable with that. I ended up talking with her for at least an hour after the official interview was over. I wanted this job by the end of it. The dad also loves his kid but he travels a lot, which is sad. Its sweet to see him hold his little guy before he leaves. You get the sense that he really will miss him. He is pretty well set in lifeto begin with. Its my job not to ruin that. And if the kid happens to like me in the process, I'm good with that.

Its been an absolute roller coaster ride of a year. Planning a wedding, realizing there were issues, realizing I didn't love and in fact didn't know my fiance. Realizing I loved someone else. Losing that someone else, finding him again, losing him and now finding him once more. This doesn't even take into account the other stressors I've gone through. Life has been very difficult this past year. I can't imagine how I would have gotten through without this job. Between the baby, the dog and the mom, I've gotten through. I always had a source of affection and a big warm furry body to hug and sometimes cry on. The mom gave me much needed human contact. Without her I wouldn't have spoken to a single adult. When the dad is out of town, we often sit and talk after work. Its nice to feel like I have a friend of sorts, even if they are your source of income. Its a strange mix.

It hasn't always been easy here though. I've had those days of frustration when he just wouldn't nap, or would only nap a certain way or not long enough. Days when I was so exhausted and would beg him to nap so I could rest myself. He started exerting his independence pretty early and that's been a trial as well. Its frustrating to have to figure out the best ways of dealing with things like that. I think a lot of progress has been made though. He's stopped biting and clawing so much, which is wonderful. So far, he's listening a lot more and accepting that there are boundaries.he's been responding very well and I'm nd I'm proud of him. Its been wonderful watching him develop from a tiny (comparatively) baby who hadn't yet discovered rolling, to a little toddler running around and barking at the dog and learning animals and such. He's a wonderful boy and I absolutely adore him. He's my little buddy. I enjoy going to work. It doesn't feel like work. I "go to work" and then I get there and I'm not at work. I'm hanging out with a little guy and loving it. Its the best job I've had. I remember going to his birthday party and feeling a sense of pride when people fawned over him. He'll never be my kid and I'll never feel like I'm his mom, but that's a good thing. I do have a motherly feeling for him, but he doesn't need a mom like the other children I've felt that way towards. He has good parents and I don't get the sense of protection I've felt for others because he already has that. But I'll take being a mini-mom. I'll mother him when his is busy and I like it that way. Its fun to have him wander over to me and to know he feels safe with me. I can never be and have no interest in being a replacement.

I can't believe its been a year already, but at the same time, its hard to remember when I wasn't here with him. For now, life is good. I'm fulfilled and happy at work. My personal life has finally balanced out and its safe and comfortable and loving. Just what I need and he needs. Not taking things too fast and just enjoying being us. My life has a bit of sparkle every day now. I'm happy.

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