Posted by: bourbonmama | 20/10/2008

Once upon a time, I was a nanny. There was this little boy, B, in the toddler program at the preschool I worked for. Near the end of the school year, B’s mom came to me and asked me to be her nanny. She wouldn’t call me that, but essentially, that is what I was. I came over to their house Monday through Friday and cared for B and his brother, R, for three summers. I went on vacation with them, Hilton Head, Disney World. During the school year, I was at their house at least twice a week. I loved those boys. I loved working for S. Then, one spring break, she asked me to go to Hilton Head with her again. Going on vacation with her was beneficial to me, not only because I got to get out of town for a little, but it paid my bills during the week the preschool was closed. Anyway, we planned it, blah, blah, blah. The week we’re supposed to leave, she tells me she wants to leave at 12 instead of 3:30, when I get off of work. Of course none of the other teachers wanted to stay late the Friday before spring break, so I tell S that I can’t get out of work early. Nothing else is said about it. The night before we’re supposed to leave, I was babysitting, when I was leaving, I said to R, “I’ll see you tomorrow, I’ve got to go home and finish packing.”

“Mom said that you weren’t coming with us.” I was stunned. I left the house in a cloud of anger and got angrier on the drive home. I guess I didn’t catch the hint that us leaving after 12 was unacceptable. Why hadn’t she said anything about it when I told her that I had to work? When I got home, Philip told me that she’d called. I couldn’t call her back that night. I knew that if I spoke to her, I’d say something I’d regret.

She called me the next day as I was getting ready for work. She said, “I thought you understood that we needed to leave by noon. I don’t know why you’re so shocked.”

me: “Well, I get off of work at 3:30, and would have left straight from there. I was under the impression that it was OK, since you didn’t say anything when I told you I couldn’t get out of work.”

her: “I don’t think you realize what an inconvenience this is for me! Now, I have to take the boys to Hilton Head by myself! You have no reason to be that upset, all you’re missing out on is a free vacation.”

me: “A free vacation? S, this is not a vacation for me, I am there to help you take care of B and R. I do it so I don’t miss out on week’s pay. This screws me this month. I was counting on that money to help me pay my bills! Maybe if I’d had any notice at all, I could have taken one of my other options, but I had to hear it from your seven year old!”

her: “Fine, if money is all that matters, then I’ll still pay you half! I’ll leave it in an envelope taped to the door, you’d better come get it before it blows away!”

That was the last I heard from that family, it was over 4 years ago. Every time I think of those boys, my heart aches a little. I never even got to tell them goodbye, that I love them and always will. I sent them a Christmas card two years in a row and never heard anything back.

On Thursday, I saw S. She came into the restaurant with a few of her friends. Thank God I was not their server. It took me a minute to realize she was there, but when I did, my heart skipped a beat. I wasn’t sure what to do, if anything at all. So I walked by her table a couple of times, once looking right at her. She looked right back, then quickly looked away the way someone does when they don’t want you to know that they saw you.

I went out back to smoke a cigarette and decide what to say to her. After gaining some nerve, I went up to her table, and sweet as sugar, said, “Hey, S! How are you?”

her: “Oh, hi. I’m good.”

me: “How are the boys?”

her: “They’re good. R is still playing baseball, he’s 12, now. And B is 9, and still scrawny.”

me: “Wow, 12, that’s fun, huh?” (this was my attempt at a joke)

her: “You know, it’s funny, B and I were talking about you a couple of weeks ago, he asked me if I remembered when we went to Epcot and saw those mimes in Italy. It’s funny what they remember.”

me: “Oh yeah. That was a nice trip.”

*uncomfortable silence*

me: “Well, this is what I’ve been up to.” (show adorable picture of Nate that I keep in my server book)

her: “Well, isn’t he adorable? And so chubby, who’d of thought you could have a chubby baby?”

me: “Well, I guess I’ll let you get back to your lunch, it was good to talk to you. Please tell B and R I said hi.”

her: “OK, bye.”

It was incredibly uncomfortable. I almost wish that I hadn’t done it, but I had to. I couldn’t let her pretend that I didn’t exist, that I didn’t matter to her kids. Screw her, I could care less what she thinks of me, but those boys, they were my heart for 3 1/2 years. I wonder what she told them after our fight. I wonder how she explained my absence. I wonder if they think of me sometimes.


  1. It sounds to me like this lady needed to have somebody sneeze in her food…or better yet, let her wear her lunch…just dump a pound of spaghetti right on top of her head…and then remind her that all babies are chubby when they’re babies…and then remind her that she was spawned from Satan’s loins… any of these details could have been tweaked to your liking!

  2. That’s great, meatbag! Thanks for the comment.

  3. That just tugged at my heart. Some people just don’t get it – what a shame. And how wonderful that you were in those boys’ lives as long as you were.

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