Au Pair Curveball

My head is jumble-ly right now, so I’ll just try to get it down.

We’ve used au pairs to help our family for several years.  For the most part, it’s been a positive experience.  Our children have been exposed to other cultures, we’ve had flexible childcare, and we’ve met wonderful young women.  We’ve also had minor car accidents, run aways, mediation sessions, and the drama that naturally comes with a woman being in her early 20’s.  Lots of life choices being made, lessons learned, blah blah blah. 

Mike and I have seen a lot, but we can still be surprised.  Like:  Anna is LEAVING on Sunday.  But wait, wasn’t she supposed to leave in February and start school in the spring semester?  Didn’t we pay for her visa application to stay and a flight home after? Wasn’t she going to stay here and visit more places in America, volunteer at gardens to build up her resume and…..

YES, she was supposed to. And so Mike and I started to make plans.  A dinner together next month, a Halloween party this weekend, a boys trip for Mike and a library gala for me.  But then, just two days ago, I woke up to the phone ringing and a German man shouting at me.  Okay.  Turns out Anna’s program at the University in Germany has a space for her, but she has to start IMMEDIATELY.

So, I understand.  And I’m not mad at Anna.  She’s been here over a year and I sincerely have love for her — she’s a strong, confident woman.  I want her to get an education and move forward with her life. 

But… I’m ticked at the situation.  Because Mike and I made plans.  And she’s going to leave and we still have to deal with her fender-bender while she’s sitting in Landscaping 101. 

The situation isn’t just about Anna.  It brings up my irritation that my parents stink at being grandparents.  They have no interest.  I don’t know why.  I guess they are busy.  And that means that they have no interest in me — because that’s what my life is right now.  I’m raising my young children.  This is not new.  Every year there is an awkward time around Christmas when we’ll get together and exchange gifts.  That’s about it.  My sister, whom I love so dearly is far, far away in Pittsburgh.  Mike’s father passed away a year ago and his mother has her own health problems.  So, no. We don’t get any support or encouragement from our parents.  That’s one of the main reasons we have hired live-in help.  Sometimes we just need another pair of hands or another driver.

This last week has been a doozy anyway.  Check out Chance’s allergic reaction.  He’s on steroids all week and going nuts.  Evelyn is also on steroids and very moody.  And demanding.  Makes me feel completely enervated.

Mike asked me if I wanted to call the au pair agency.  It reminded me of when my neighbor’s mom’s cat died.  My neighbor’s husband wanted to run out and buy her a new kitten that day.  Instead, my neighbor took her mom out for dinner and shots.  That’s for a cat.  How much harder is it to mourn the end of a relationship with someone you’ve worked and lived with for over a year?  How much harder as the kids are older and there isn’t time to prepare them that she is leaving? 

And the hiring process?  Jeez.  I said no to one girl because she mentioned she was a slow eater.  Yeah, that’s not going to fly in the Woosley household!  Another didn’t know how to drive.  Yeah, not in Harford County.  One had a tattoo of…well.  You get the point.

Anna, this is all happening very quickly. I’m filled with different emotions, but here are some true things:
                                We’re thankful for your help with the children.
                                You are a beautiful, confident young lady.
                                 Lots of lovely photos and memories were made this past year.
                                We are proud that you were part of our family.
                                You touched our hearts and we hope we touched yours.

We wish you the best in all your future endeavors!  Ich habe Liebe dich!