I knocked on their door. Nervous, but so overwhelmingly excited. For some reason I could feel in my bones this interview was about to change my life. The door opened, I walked inside, and was immediately greeted by a toddler. She was 2 years old, and running towards me, as fast as her little chubby legs could take her, and wrapped her arms around my knees. All I could make out was the mop of curls on her head. She had me. Right then at that moment. I would do whatever I could in my power to make this child happy. I had to get this job. I had had other nannying jobs, but this was going to be a constant steady job. Every Tuesday and Thursday for as long as they needed someone. I was praying that someone was me. I felt at home, right away. This little angels parents were amazing. Hard working, strong, and put their family first. When they called later that week to tell me the job was mine if I wanted it I was over the moon. How more perfect could this get! An incredible family AND a preciously adorable 2 year old, what a great job to work while I was away at college. Only problem? It wasnt a job. From the moment that little girl walked into my life it wasnt just a job. I lived to spend time with that little Miss. I would sneak her Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal (because she may or may not have always been allowed…sorry Eve!!) just to see her giggle and clap with excitement in the morning when I pulled it out of my backpack. We made weekley trips to the duck pond, we sang songs at the top of our lungs while driving with the windows down because she loved the way the wind felt. I let her kick off her shoes and socks even though we’d just have to put them back on in 5 minutes while we were driving because she liked it, and because I loved how cute her little feet looked in the carseat swinging back and forth. I let her splash in puddles, I took her to the mall just to walk through the Disney store, we did cooking projects because she loved them so much. No matter how messy and complicated. I took her to the library at least twice a week, just because I loved how she’d make me sit on the floor, pull a book from the shelf, then back herself into my lap so I could read to her. Not only was I falling completley and madly in love with this child, I was also falling in love with her parents. They were incredible to watch. Mabry’s Dad was putting himself thorugh Med school, working in a research lab, studying like crazy and still found all the time he could to spend with his family, Mabry’s Mom was working hard as a professor, writing and getting publised in law journals and other publications, and never missed time with Mabry. They were fantastic role models. They taught me so much about life and love. They were my family, still are, whether they like it or not. So, when I graduated from UF I was devestated, but at least Mabs only lived an hour and a half from me. We continued to see each other as much as possible. Mabry coming to stay with me alot over the weekends. I loved watching her turn into this incredible young lady.
When Mabrys parents told me they were moving to Nebraska a few years back I was heartbroken. So this trip up to visit them in Nebraska was just about the greatest thing Ive done in a long time. Mabrys almost a teenager, well not officially, but just about. Shes so grown up. Smart, kind, sweet, and still has the amazing heart that she had at 2 years old. This family is still something that I can just never get over. They are best friends. They remind me so much of my parents and I. It was always just the three of us, just like its always just the three of them. I had the best time spending the weekend there, getting connected again, laughing hysterically over their stories, watching Mabry at a CHEERLEADING competition (if you all know me, you know this is just about the greatest thing to happen to me ever, Mabry Cheerleading). Watching the amazing woman shes becoming, and realizing that she hadn’t forgotten about me. The only thing that had really changed was that I couldnt just pick her up and give her hugs and kisses like I used to. There was still lots of hugs, I’m sure much to Mabrys embarassment ;-) Being there with Mabs at this point in our lives I realized I had learned so much from her. How to love a child like they were my own, even though they weren’t. How to make a little girl laugh, how to make her happy, how to make her feel safe and loved. I learned so much about children, what they needed and when they needed it. All of which led me to this line of work. I started my business because I missed being around kids. Missed those little hugs and sticky fingers. This family helped make me who I am today. B. Family, I am so so grateful to have you all in my life. I miss you all so much I just can’t stand it. Love you all.