Five Little Fingers

I’ve sat here for hours contemplating the fate of my next decision, one that only I can make and will only ever be understood by me. As these thoughts and reasonings run through my head I hear the soft murmur of the baby waking and the rain beginning to fall harder than a drunk woman in heels. What would normally be a chore for some people my age is something I find joy in, and pride myself upon.
You see my college experience has been interchanged with dirty diapers instead of term papers, teaching little ones to read instead of lecture halls, and playing mom for 3 beautiful children instead of frat parties & social gatherings. Many people look at my decision and say “God, why”; you’ll never know nor will you understand. My way isn’t right or wrong, nor yours.
Am i better because I pay all my own bills while mommy and daddy foot yours? Do I feel superior that I can solve 7 1/2 disasters, 2 meltdowns, and an empty lunchbox all before 8 am? Not in the least; while you trapse around campus with your ipod on shuffle creating the soundtrack to your life, mine is being created as well to the genre of tempertantrums, crying babies, and the occasional one liner a 4 year old can conjure up from mid air. Our lives may be different but no one’s is better than the other.
And so it goes seeing what I left for what I love I look back and then turn to look forward because what I can accomplish just 6 hours into my work day hasn’t even had your body stir to wake yet. I feel accomplished, though overwhelmed at times.
Deciding to call it quits is never an easy decision to be made, and especially being in my current position it seems to be one of the harder things I’ve had to do. While I slowly let the parents down, feelings of shock replace feelings of dependency. See being a nanny means you give your heart, soul, and life to kids that aren’t yours, but you love them like they are. Being a nanny means you give all the aforementioned plus 12 hours of your day, 2 car payments, a gas tank that seems to be a bottomless pit, and the usual responsibilities a 22 year old posess’s traded in for the responsibility of a 40 something year old woman with 3 children and no sex life.
I can do this, I thought to myself; mustering my strength and peeling back my eyelids from exhaustion every morning with 6 cups of coffee; here I stand corrected. Not in the sense most interpet, “I was wrong”, No. I was not wrong, I could do it, I did do it, and I was overworked, underpaid and underappreciated. I drew the line in the sand with a stick not knowing there were riverdancers present and they happened to be standing in the same sandbox.
Now I sit here thinking about the decision I just made, I quit. I’m not a quitter, but I had to walk away for what was going to be next if I was already watching children while vacations were had; being asked to go on family vacations only so I could watch the baby, taking kids (that aren’t mine) to doctors appointments, knowing social security numbers by heart, being called mom countless times that I get too disparaged to correct the little mouths. My heart aches for I know the next couple of weeks although will be filled with freedom of not working 60 hours a week, but also with sadness that the 3 beautiful faces I woke up every morning for, will be the ones I have to see when I look at our pictures. I wish it wasn’t this way, I wish hard decisions never had to be made, and I wish for just one small second that in a perfect little world everything would work out.

So here it is, the time I have to start letting go, which always seems to be the hardest part when you’ve been gripping the same five fingers for the past year. The same five fingers that waved at me every morning a ‘hello’ and in the evening when I left, five little fingers that turned countless pages of storybooks as I read aloud the magic and wonder each book held for these kids, and the five little fingers that wrap around my one thumb as I hold a bottle, rocking the one so small back and forth and just as slowly as I sway, her eyes begin to relax; her body goes soft, and the time between her blinks lapses until she finally falls asleep; the five little fingers have relaxed and don’t hold my thumb anymore, tomorrow walking out these doors they will now hold my heart.

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