It’s getting close to that time of year again, when the year is almost over and we all begin to reflect on our behavior over the past 12 months and wonder if we’ve stuck with those New Year’s resolutions that we promised oursevles the previous year.
What we’re my 2016 New Year’s Resolutions? They are usually the same every year. Eat better, exercise more. Except I added a few new ones for 2016. Don’t be judgmental or gossipy (curtesy of the No Complaint challenge), bond more with the Bear Bros and be true to myself.
It’s the end of the year and all the moms in my Coral Gables circle are frantically trying to squeeze in all of their makeup Gymboree classes in between holiday shopping and wrapping presents. Parent’s only have a few more days left before the schools close for winter vacation and their children are home full-time for two weeks, much to their horror. Many are rushing to plan activates for their kids that will allow the parents to keep their sanity. That’s the daily challenge of being a parent.
Although I know my days will be long and non-stop with Big Bear on winter break, I am looking forward to our two weeks together. Now that he is in school full-time I only see him a few hours a day, with baths and pasta dinners taking up most of that time. This will be two weeks of actually enjoying each other’s company. I know that squeezing in laundry and washing bottles will be impossible with both boys home all day, but I won’t mind the obstacles, because the Bears and I take the best field trips.
The past two New Year’s Eves fell on weekdays which meant I worked- at least part of the day. Two years ago, Grandma (nanny #2) and I took our only charge, Big Bear, to the Miami Children’s Museum where they happened to be hosting Noon Year’s Eve, which gives children and parents the chance to spend the holiday together. That first year, Grandma and I stumbled upon this museum tradition, we just went to the museum because Big Bear really wanted to go! As we were all huddled around the main lobby of the museum, you felt the New Year’s excitement. Children got to have a real New Year’s count down, not caring that it was taking place at noon and not midnight, and parents got to celebrate with their children in their street clothes and sneakers. Big Bear knew that after we counted down from ten that everyone would scream “Happy New Year!” and he was excited. He practiced the full twenty minutes leading up to the big countdown. The countdown began and was over before we know it, and balloons and confetti were falling from the ceiling. Parents and children hugged and most filtered out of the museum. The Bears and I (missing LB still in utero) went home.
Last year Grandma and I began planning our Noon Year’s Eve celebration a week in advance. We made sure to get to the museum lobby before the crowd and to keep the boys still with milks and snacks. We knew not to bring the double stroller for space was limited and we knew where to grab a seat so we were far enough from the the commotion but still a part of the action.
The same as last year, we refreshed BB’s memory on counting down until the New Year. We all got in our places and heard the fake clock strike noon, and we all cheered and hugged while an infant LB looked around in amazement, completely in awe of the falling decorations.
This New Year’s Eve is the first NYE that I’ve worked for the Bears that will fall on a weekend. Grandma and I, as we did last year, began to plan our fieldtrip to the Miami Children’s Museum a week in advance. It wasn’t until we were halfway through planning that we realized NYE falls on a Saturday.
For a moment, I contemplated going. I told myself that I could go with them to the museum and then rush back to my own life. Then I realized that although I take care of these boys almost every day, they aren’t my real family and I need to focus on my own. Being a nanny to the Bears is just the interim and it’s getting to the point where I need to remind myself of that. The Bears are going to keep getting bigger and keep growing and there is going to be a time when they outgrow me, and there will also be a time when I outgrow them.
The week after 2016 began Alan Rickman died, followed by David Bowie. It was put into the universe that 2016 was going to be a strange year, and in a lot of ways it was. People could throw in the death of Prince and a wacky political season as the demise of 2016, but 2016 was a great year, especially for me and the Bears. 2016 was the year that Little Bear turned one and began to crawl and walk and become a real person. 2016 was also the year Big Bear began PreK and grew into a boy who could use the potty on his own. It was also the year that their nanny finally got published for the first time since 2012 and the year that she created this blog. It’s also the year she started to get (somewhat) serious about her writing and signed up for a creative writing course.
What do I hope for 2017? For the Bear Bros to keep growing and exploring and take in the world around them (and to maybe get them out of their comfort zone and eat a few new foods). I hope the same for their nanny.