Three weeks before school started this last year, the nanny that our neighbors had counted on for the school year moved to Texas. There were no hard feelings – her husband had secured a job that required them to move. However, it put our neighbors in a bad situation.
A little history…a week after we moved from the South to New England, our neighbors moved from North Dakota. The husband had completed medical school, but was continuing his studies at Yale. They had a 6 month old daughter, furniture that wouldn’t be delivered for 3 weeks, and knew no one in the area. Our family used its week-old knowledge of the neighborhood to help get them settled, to help them get to know the area, and secure people to help them unload their moving truck when it arrived. That was the relational beginning of the best set of neighbors we’ve ever had.
And somewhere along the way, our neighbors turned into precious friends. These past 6 years, we’ve had many cookouts and many spontaneous evenings, and we credit them for introducing us to the amazing world of sushi. They watched our kids grow from 6, 8, 10 and 12 to a grown up 12, 14, 16 and 18. And we watched them produce another little girl and a little son.
Now fast-forward to the fall of 2010, and we find ourselves sitting in our backyard discussion options for them in light of the fact that their nanny just moved away. I’m not exactly sure what inspired to me do so (I am not a natural babysitter), but I found myself offering to be their nanny. It would involve care for their 2 1/2 month old son, and before and after school care (and transportation to and from school) for their 5 year old daughter. We hammered out a few details, and before we knew it, we had a closer relationship with their family than we ever dreamed.
At some point in the year, the mama decided that she wanted to go to law school, took and aced the GRE exam, and chose a school in Minnesota she would attend (with a full-ride scholarship, I might add!). Of course, that meant that their family would be moving to Minnesota after the school year completed.
There are so many stories to be told about how we fell in love with their kids, about the beautiful things it brought out in mine, and how it blessed both of our families to be so linked to each other, but the reason for this post is to give some background to a scrapbook that I created for them.
As soon as we knew that they would be moving and that the time with them would be drawing to a close, I began crafting a scrapbook to commemorate this year of childcare. Last week, I gave it to them. Through tears, we all went through the activities captured in the memory book. It was a tribute to our friendship and to how much in love with their kids we fell.
Here are a few shots.
As the caption says, this page tries to capture the few first days with our new family members. To capitalize on the early aspect, I used some of my late grandmother’s antique magazines (around 1915 – 1928) to accent the pictures.
While our neighbors have 3 children, we only nannied for 2 of them, because the middle child went to a preschool near her mama’s work. We didn’t get to see nearly enough of Alex, so when it came time for her birthday (pretty early into the school year), we had a little party for her at our house.
I’ll post more of the pictures in the days to come. As we watch our friends pack up for their move, these pictures become even more of a treasure to us – and I hope to them as well.