It happened. Out of the blue. (People always say that, but it’s a cliché for a reason.) In just a few words, my nanny knocked my happy mommy train off the track:
“Am I going to be happy with this money after I count it?”
This simple sentence, uttered by my nanny, imploded our system of supply and demand. What she was supplying, I wasn’t buying anymore. Namely, her services.
All over the amount of her Christmas bonus. A bonus. A gift. Not a given.
As a writer I take words more seriously than civilians. So, when my nanny made that simple statement, there was no going back; her greed, her ingratitude, now exploded into the Holmes Family universe.
So, from the last of December when I informed her that “ I wouldn’t need her services in the New Year,” and the search for a new babysitter began, lasting until the third week in January, thanks to an assist from my Mom who came from Michigan to help care for Julia, with my sister-in-law waiting in the wings, while I worked and interviewed new childcare workers on the side, I thought of the gift my former nanny had given me.
For a long, long while I believed the goal in life was to get all my ducks—or sippy cups— in a row, with all the tops matching then everything would be ducky. Once Julia came home, I thought my Mallards looked marvelous. I’d hired a great nanny. My job was going well, grad school too. Until she launched that sentence from her mouth, when she revealed her true self, things were going along, swimmingly. And in that Big Bang, I understood, there’s no perfection. No time when the machine runs without a hitch. There’s always a Big Bang, waiting to expand the universe, stretch it, pull it into a new definition of life.
Change is eternal in life, but especially in the Big Bang Theory of Life, and Nannies.
Childcare workers are people and people complex creatures. But an e-mail reply from another mom from my Upper West Side Mom Yahoo Group put it best,” This is person who gives your daughter examples to live by when you’re not around. Get rid of her.”
Life as a money-grubber is not on my list.