Allow me to tell you a little bit about two very important people in my life. While the rest of the world is off getting engaged and married, I have skipped these first few steps and jumped straight into motherhood….Sort of. Those who keep up with me at all have probably seen the overwhelming amount of tweets, Instagrams, and Facebook posts referencing my job as a nanny. In fact, one college professor even asked me if he had somehow missed the fact that I had birthed a child upon graduating. I then had to explain that I have an obsession with taking photographs. Who could help it with faces as cute as theirs? Several days a week, along with working random hours at other random jobs (freelance editor/writer and an Economic education program), I have the privilege of caring for twin six month old baby girls. To most, it is just a babysitting job. They are just children who poop, cry, spit up, and sleep. I can certainly attest to this; I have been peed on, spit up on (in my mouth, I might add), and heard wailing for hours on end. I see my role as their caretaker, however, as something much more though. God is using my job, I think, to teach me to to see people.
Here’s the thing. Even at six months old, my girls have personalities. They laugh at different things (Elizabeth is partial to fart noises while Katherine is much too sophisticated and serious for such things), they like being held different ways, and you might not believe me–but I swear that one of them has genius ideas brewing in her head. The point is–we are all so different. We don’t just become this way when we become older and more cognitive. We develop more, yes. We are, however, unique from birth. As scripture says, we are formed in our mother’s womb; God has a plan for us before anyone on earth even thinks about our birth.
Since the stormy day on which I received my diploma, life has been somewhat of a roller coaster ride. It is hard to believe that in just a few short months it will have been a year since I left Lee. You know, you have all these dreams–all these ideas of what you’re going to do after college. I’m very much an idealist, and in MY ideal world, I wouldn’t have been where I am today. But you know, in retrospect, I wouldn’t change a thing. Honestly. Sure, there are days when I want to get in my car, pack up my bags, and venture to some unknown and yet to be explored city. I want to take off to India and hold orphans–sing them to sleep–make sure they have pillows to lay their heads on at night. I want to be working in a non-profit. I want to be helping people. But regardless of whether or not we obtain our “ideal,” don’t we all have days like that? Where we want something more than what we have? It begs the question to be asked, can one “achieve” happiness through reaching one’s ideal goal or place?
Most people see my role as a nanny as just a job. I did too, for a while. But is holding a baby in a suburban home that much different from holding a baby in another country? Don’t both need to be seen? recognized as a unique and beautiful creation? These are the things I think about as I tickle their tummies and kiss their little noses. I tell them they are beautiful and that Jesus loves them. I cover them with prayers. I thank them both, for allowing me to serve them.
One day, if they ask me what it was like to be their nanny, I’ll say, “Who wouldn’t want to play with babies all day and go to work in their pajamas? Kind of sounds like a dream job. Don’t you think?”