Thursday, September 21, 2006

Love Thursday: Nannies, babysitters, friends

I've written before about my mom and how I feel lucky to have grown up as the child of a working mother. A few Thursdays ago, Mary Tsao wrote beautifully about how much her kids' caregiver, Rosa, means to her and her family. I still remember all the babysitters we had as kids, and the wonderful relationships we had with them. I never felt that they were replacing my parents. Instead, I felt blessed to have another special person in my life, caring about me. Other kids didn't always have that!

Denise was my very first babysitter, when I was just a colicky babe. She came to my wedding, and my sister is named after her.

Sue let us watch People's Court every day, but she also played Rusty the Bailiff to my brother's Judge Wapner without any hesitation. She designated special "color days" every week or so, when we'd wear green clothes, eat green foods, and do green things like climb trees or make frogs out of green felt. She made us a deck of Old Maid cards featuring people we knew and odd characters from around town. When she got married, my little sister was her flower girl. When her son was born, we doted on him like he was our own special baby doll.

Carol made us waffles and ice cream for after-school snacks. Sometimes she even made funnel cakes. It was like having the county fair in our kitchen every day.

Ghislaine was a French au pair whose father was descended from royalty and owned a hillside in Savoie, an apartment in Paris, and another in Nice. She was only with us for four months (we inherited her from another family that was going through a divorce) but 25 years later, our families still keep in touch. She and her husband and sons actually came to Mayberry to visit just a few weeks after Opie was born.

After cutting her teeth on me and my siblings, Rosemary went on to become a preschool teacher and eventually directed a child care center. Several years ago, she came across an article I wrote for the magazine I used to work for, remembered me, and sent me a note filled with fond memories of our family.

I think I love Love Thursday.

10 comments:

Her Bad Mother said...

I had a babysitter called Kimmy who I adored. She made me clothes for my Barbie dolls, and would sit on the floor with me for hours making up stories that the dolls would act out. I still think about her.

I haven't written about this on my blog yet, but we just hired a part-time nanny, Mariella. And WonderBaby adores her, just adores her, and so I adore her.

bubandpie said...

I'm going to file away that colour-day tip for future reference. What a great idea!

I feel like I learn so much from my home-care provider; she's one of those unqualified, unsupervised, low-budget, "low-quality" caregivers and she's an absolute natural with children. I've had the kids home this week because everybody is sick and I can tell how much they miss going over there.

mothergoosemouse said...

I love your stories of your nannies and babysitters. I have fond memories of the babysitters we've had over the years - although I'm not so sure that their memories of my brother and me are so fond...

cnedaria said...

what great memories. My boys have great memories of their caregivers too. Now that I'm a stay at home mom, I keep getting compared to the "fun things" they used to do at daycare. Maybe having a color day will win them over to my side...

TB said...

It's awesome that you had so many great babysitters. I had a few good ones, but also some real duds.

This post reminds me of a great Dar Williams song: The babysitter's here.

Nancy said...

I remember my brother and I each getting our own hand-calligraphied invitiations to our former babysitter's wedding. I think I still have mine.

I feel so close to my girls' day care providers. They are such wonderful women from all over the world. I hope they remember them even when they are moving toward adulthood and become babysitters (and later moms!) themselves.

Lady M said...

I loved reading this! My mom stayed at home, so I don't really have a comparison of what it's like to have other caregivers (besides dad) as well. We love our nanny for Q, and hope that we continue having as good a relationship as you had with your babysitters.

Mrs. Wheezer said...

Lovely post! I hope my girls have similar fond memories of their caregivers.

Binkytown said...

I just re-read your piece about your mom from the blog exchange. I really loved it. Again.

Mayberry said...

Thanks Binky! It's one of the only things I've written on the blog that I've actually shared with my mom.