Five minutes before the dad of Jacob and Caroline, my after school kids, was going to arrive home, he texted me to ask if I could possibly drive him and the kids to the airport to pick up his wife's car. As I didn't have any definite plans for the evening, I told him I would. I love him and his wife, as well as the kids; that's part of why it's so hard for me to accept that they're moving. We spent the twenty minute ride to the airport talking about religion and family, and the kids had their faces turned in to the wind (a small compensation for not having any air conditioning in my car, I suppose).
Times like that, when I'm technically an employer doing a boss a favor, make me feel instead like I'm part of the family. It's one of the huge perks of individualized childcare, rather than an institution. I get to be involved in teaching early multiplication, taking the first steps toward potty training, and all the highlights of childhood. I am, in a way, a family member, albeit a paid one.
This morning, I woke up to an email from the twins' mom, which she had also sent to various family members. A month from today is their second birthday, and she was trying to find a date for the party. I loved the fact that I was included on that email; while a nanny is intricately involved in her kids' lives, she is also easy to overlook when it comes to celebrations. It's a weird middle place, involved with the family but still technically an employee. But my families are amazing, and they seem to love me as much as I love them. Or at least close.
And now I get to go to two birthdays at once!