I remember when you came to us a few years ago. I admit I didn’t like at all the mere thought of someone taking care of my firstborn, not to mention that someone totally unknown to me and my child.
You were standing at the door. I started watching you as soon as you opened them, I watched everything, how you walked, how you breathed, where you left things, how you spoke, what you told me, everything, everything… Will my boy like you, will you cushion him on time, put on a cap when the wind blows from Mladenovac, will you know what it is about as soon as his left eye winks and he puts his mouth down, whether you will respect him and whether you will love him… but not too much. Not like me! Nothing like me. I made a choice somehow… You weren’t exactly what I wanted. It wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. I looked at you all the time, from the kitchen, the bathroom, and I spied, and I watched you put him down in the bedroom, whether you put him down before it was time or you waited until he was fast asleep, like I showed you.
I reprimanded you a because he wasn’t clean enough, you did not change his clothes, and when he did not have a hat outside waiting for me to come back. The wind may come unexpectedly. It is different when it is me. I know how to judge. Let me tell you something – every time I came home from work, your departure meant that I would find, like Sherlock, at least 17 things that were not the way I told you.
And then something happened, and I started to see some other things. How you brought a homemade pie for him, how you hung his toys so he could catch them and get up. I saw once through the window that you chased him and then, while catching him, you hugged him tight while he was smiling happily…
And I’m thinking about what you have gone through with all of us first moms who choose you to watch over their children, how difficult was for you to adapt to someone’s home and to habits of a family you enter. Are you nervous if a child will accept you, will a mom be fair, will she give you a paycheck at the end of the month, will everything be all right? Were you able to choose us as we choose you? You go to an agency and ask for a few families to check, get references from previous nannies, if there were any, to talk to them, and if not, then contacts of the people who can guarantee me for them, so I will decide which family to… There is no such thing… There’s just this text of mine I’m writing now to thank you while you’re with someone else’s baby. Thank you because you chose to be a nanny and to babysit. Thank you because you knew better than me what I expected from you and you had the patience to wait for me to realize it and accept you completely. And that’s why I miss you now – to find your mistakes when I get into the house… I miss to hear you unlock the door, talk to him, to know that everything is fine, just as it should be.