The Flavor of Change

I’m fast-approaching the end of my stint as a nanny. In ten days it will be a thing of the past, a memory of that year I spent right out of college working as a nanny. But here’s the thing. Unlike other jobs you might have that you leave after you’ve done your time with little to miss, I am leaving behind a chunk of my heart. I’ve spent the past year more or less raising these kids. (Not to say that their parents don’t raise them. They are very involved. But in terms of my responsibilities, I’m a parent.) I’ve been wiping faces and changing diapers and teaching Sami to read and DJ the letters of the alphabet. And they won’t even remember me. Sami might a little. Madison may. But Dylan certainly won’t. And while the security I’ve given them and some lessons I’ve taught them may remain, all of the time and the love and the care and the tears of frustration I’ve cried will just be wiped away. They will talk about me for the first few months, perhaps even a year as they adjust to a new nanny. And then they will stop remembering. And it will be like I was never even there.

A few months ago this point seemed so far off that I was just gazing after it longingly. I was so exhausted from the eternal winter where we had to stay inside and think of things to do all day every day. Now that the sun is out again and the kids can run off some energy outside, staying here and doing this sounds much less daunting than moving somewhere new and finding a new grown up job that will pay the bills. I’ve been so excited by the possibility of a job where I can find or explore my calling. Something I’m passionate about or excited for. But it can also be so overwhelming to be searching. And after sending out 30 or so resumes with no positive response, the comfort of the familiar is more and more appealing.

My little sister is graduating from high school on Saturday. I’m flying down to Louisiana tomorrow to attend her graduation. It’s so strange to me that she’s already graduating. When I moved out of the house to go to college, she was only 13, barely a teenager. Now she’s a woman. I love my sisters dearly and try to keep up with what’s going on in their lives, but I realized that for the last several years I really was so wrapped up in my own growing up that I’ve missed a great deal of theirs. I’ve also been quite nostalgic lately as I’ve thought of going back to my old high school where my sister will walk across the stage and receive her diploma Saturday morning. I’ve been thinking of what life was like for me in that moment and what I thought life held for me. I’ve been thinking about all that has been gained since then. And all that has been lost.

My brother and his wife are having their first baby sometime tonight or tomorrow. (The timing couldn’t be better as far as I’m concerned.) This tiny, unknown, unborn child is about to become a part of our family forever. A sweet change, but a great responsibility. It is strange the way even something we’ve been looking forward to can suddenly feel terrifying when we are actually faced with it. There is something deeply unsettling about the Unknown. If only I could rest, truly rest in the God who is not just all-knowing, but is Known. It would be comforting to have that sense of peace, but I don’t think it would make change taste differently. I think it will always be bittersweet.

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