When I was earning a paycheck by watching after other people’s kids, there were plenty of times I loathed going to work. I couldn’t stand the thought of being called to the bathroom to wipe another little behind, to reread Curious George for the 28th time that day, to explain why we couldn’t watch another hour of TV (although if I didn’t fear that I was being nanny cammed I might have given in to that one). There were those times when I seemed to relive the same five minutes 20 times over because entertaining a child miraculously made time slow down to an excruciating speed. I remember hating pool time, dreading bed time, and thinking of ways to get out of make-believe time.
But yesterday, during a spontaneous trip to the Natural History Museum, I found myself stopping to smile at a group of kids holding hands, eyes glued to a replica of Mars. And I suddenly remembered how much I miss these jobs. I miss all the little ones that I watched grow from diapers and trains to big kid beds and homework. I miss the times when I had to sit down and explain multiplication in a way that a 2nd grader could understand. I miss the sloppy hugs and the faces that would light up when I walked through the door. I miss the kids whose lives I had hoped to touch but who really touched mine instead.
I thought, as we often do, that this was a part of my life that was better left in the past. I thought that with a degree and a dream there was no time to slow down for something that wouldn’t put me on the direct route to where I want to go. But with writing jobs banging on my door and a future that is brighter than I could imagine, there are times that playing a game of make-believe with a kid that still talks about Santa Claus sounds absolutely perfect.
To all of the families who brought me into their homes and trusted me with their most precious possession- thank you. Without your kids, I wouldn’t be who I am today.
*ATTENTION: to my fantastic blogging friends and fabulous readers*
I entered into a writing contest on Trazzler. Because I would fancy nothing more than the awesome trip to San Francisco that they are offering I need all the votes I can get. Find me here: http://www.trazzler.com/users/kayla33, sign up, and click save under each one of my trips. Thanks in advance for the support and I’ll be sure to mention you all in my acceptance speech (not that I get one, but you catch my drift).