The summer of 2012 was a big one for us. We got married, I graduated from college, we honeymooned, and then we promptly moved to Michigan where my husband would pursue a law degree. I Skype interviewed for a job before the big move and accepted the job at a wonderful gym in town.
I biked to work every morning and was there by 5:15 a.m. to open up shop. Believe it or not, mornings are a great thing to adjust to. I love them! As I continued my receptionist role, I quickly learned the names of our regular clients. I also learned that my regular morning clients kicked major ass. Two in particular who just so happened to live only a block away. Yay!
One fine day I overheard a favored client say that she was pregnant. AMAZING! I was so excited for her. As the baby grew, so did my curiosity. Who will take care of that baby while you and your hubs work your doctoral duties? Well, long story short that would be me.
I met with the parents; they called my peeps to make sure I was legit, and so began our relationship outside of the gym. It was tough to say good-bye to the gym, but not tough to start my new job. It was meant to be!
I started my job just a few weeks before Mom returned to work. Baby was between 2 and 3 months old. We had so much fun together. The three of us bonded (the four of us when Dad was home, too). From shopping to banana bread making (and so much more) I valued our time together.
Nearly two years later we find out the hubs landed a clerkship working for a federal judge in Fayetteville, Arkansas for two years. This means it’s really happening; I’m really leaving this job. I knew this day would come—Michigan was only for three years of law school anyway. But I never knew I would grow so attached.
This sweet 2 month old breath-taking baby turned 2 just a few weeks before our descent to Arkansas.
She has become my best friend, my side-kick, and my 45-60 hour per week love. Someone I wondered about when I got home from work; did she eat dinner, was she cranky [never], did she sleep, poop, etc.? Can we hang out this weekend?
Watching her grow made (makes) me so proud even though we have no blood relation. She and her parents made me realize that to become a family you don’t have to be kin; you just have to be best friends. Seeing the three of them every day made me the happiest I have ever been in any work setting ever (and in life).
(Shoutout here to Seven Salon Spa, Fitcorp, Eastover Resort and Vie Fitness for being great too! You did want my resume, didn’t you?) annnyways…
Being around them made me a better person. They are the kindest, most caring and thoughtful people you will ever meet. And that baby taught me more than she’ll ever know. I never knew that I would overcome some (silly) fears just by being in her presence. She helped me to come out of my shell (because who wants a child to copy their ridiculous bashful tendencies?) She taught me not to care who was around and to enjoy the moment. It was so easy when I was with her to take a picture in my mind of how perfect that exact moment was.
I remember the day I realized that she had memorized the book her parents and I read to her on a regular basis, “The Night you were Born.” I couldn’t believe my ears. It may have been that I knew we were moving, so I was a bit more emotional than normal, but I cried my [little] eyes out. Of course she noticed and looked at me funny and asked me why I was crying, but this is when our reading game changed. I began to let her finish every sentence. I realized how significant something so little like reading a book can be.
It turns out that all of the times we read those books really mattered. Everything matters. She has taught me that. She has helped me [try] to cut out some bad habits, to speak up, and to be patient and confident.
It’s crazy that someone so young and so little can have such a large impact on someone’s life. Sadly, she will probably never know the extent of her imprint on my life, but that’s okay.
All of this is very difficult to explain. It’s a unique feeling to care so much about a child that is not your own. This is especially so when the parents are two of your favorite people whose personalities combined to create this perfectly, imperfect little girl: Uma.
Even though she won’t remember our time together–I will.
Even though she doesn’t know the impact she had on my life and I had on hers–I will.
Even though she has no idea that I will always be a thorn on her side–I do!
I know so many people can relate to this: nannies, au pairs, and so on. It’s hard to express the way we feel about these kids. I told myself I could never do something like this again because it leaves such a big gap to fill when you leave. But silly as it may sound, it has made me realize that if there ever came a time in my life when I could not bear my own children, I know how much I can love another!
Okay—now that I’ve pulled on the old heart strings:
Instead of dwelling on how much I miss my friends–I am going to blog to keep me marching forward! I have always wanted to do this and what better time than now?