Nanny Has to Say Goodbye: Lila
By: Allison Norris
I imagine that being a nanny is a little like being a teacher. Kind of.
You put your energy, passion, creativity, and rules into these growing beings only to say goodbye at some point. For teachers this point is marked on a calendar. A date that comes each year and then less than three months later a new crop of kids join your world and that same expiration date approaches. You become a seasoned veteran at saying “goodbye” and “have a great summer.” They grow and you pass them in the halls noting the changes that they make.
Nannying has no expiration date, unless you totally fuck up, of course, or change directions… but for the most part those little babies that you take care of are like your own until they don’t need you one day. It’s like parenting – on steroids. You have to say goodbye to “your” babies when they graduate from you and head into preschool (instead of college, like your own).
I’ve been nannying a little lady named Lila for a year. I started with her family after going through a terrible ordeal with a family who never paid me, never showed up as scheduled, and completely abused my time. Nervous about this whole nannying thing, I quickly realized that all families were not evil and in fact could become dear friends, and feel like my own family. That’s what has happened with Lila’s mom and dad.
Lila is two weeks younger than Baylor and almost an inch taller. She has curly hair, round cheeks, and is so solid I swear she has 10 lbs on Bay. Her sassy and very bossy personality just blossomed over the past 6 months and she challenges me every day. She calls me “Mommy” because, well, Baylor calls me Mommy and I think it’s just easier to say than “Allison.” She rarely lets me kiss or hug her – but every once in a while she’ll slip her chubby little hand into mine and say, “I really love you.”
She loves snacks, Hello Kitty, the color purple, and singing. She’ll read books all day, tell you exactly what to do, and pouts a little if you don’t do it just right. She tells me “I’m not talking to YOU” when she asks Baylor a question and I interrupt with the answer. She loves wearing Baylor’s shoes and she takes her clothes off to be naked if she can get away with it. She’s silly, beautiful, best friends with my son, and has the best clothes I’ve ever seen. She’s my little Lila Bear.
And she’s moving to Florida with her family in 12 days.
It really hasn’t hit me yet and I’ve tried explaining everything to Baylor. They seem to understand what I’m saying, but I don’t know what will happen when we don’t climb into our car at 7:14am to go to Lila’s house and watch her eat her vanilla yogurt each morning.
To say I’m going to miss her is an understatement. That little girl will have a chunk of my heart forever and a little boy best friend across the country for the rest of her life.