Ode to Rosa.

Rosa, my kids’ nanny, is on vacation for two and a half weeks, and seeing as how a) I am totally missing her right now, as I squeeze this column in while my son naps and the laundry tosses around in the dryer, and b) there has been a slew of new books about nannies lately, I thought that this would be a good time to reflect on my relationship with the nanny in my own life.

Rosa started with us five years ago, a few days before Harper was born. We got off to kind of a rocky start – she was a total baby hog, and all she wanted was to hold Harper and carry Harper and feed Harper and bathe Harper, and, in my eyes, keep Harper completely and totally away from me so that Harper would love her more. I can vividly remember crying in my Mommy and Me class when Harper was three months old, as I told everyone about the evil, love-stealing woman I had in my employ, and I can also vividly recall a few of the other moms nodding their heads, telling me how they’d had to “lay down the law” with their own nannies in order to get any time alone with their infants. Of course, I can also vividly recall Michael telling me to just fire her if I was so unhappy with her behavior, as well as the sheer panic that I felt at the very thought of being left alone to care for the impossible, screaming little monster that we had produced, even for just a few days until I found someone else.

In retrospect, I now realize that poor Rosa – who had left two daughters behind in El Salvador so that she could come to America and send them more money than she could ever make at home – just really loved little baby girls, a concept that I simply couldn’t grasp at the time since my own baby girl was driving me so completely and totally insane. When I was on maternity leave and I went out to run an errand, I used to apologize to Rosa for leaving her with Harper, and I could never understand how she could smile so big upon being handed my child, who was so clearly the spawn of the devil.

ecn
08.24.07

I just said goodbye to our nanny of three years and let me tell you...I was 100% shocked at how many tears I shed! During her employment, there were more times than not I wished she was more motivated to straighten up the mess of toys she created...or take my son to the museum instead of sit at the table and draw...but all in all, when you find a nanny who TRULY LOVES your children, it's a gift. With love comes a level of care that is second to none. It took a moment with a new, totally competent {but unfamiliar} nanny to make me realize how special it was that we found someone who truly loved our child to pieces. And cared for him when we could not be there for him.