Thursday, April 17, 2008

breaking up is hard to do

Arguably one of the most difficult parts of negotiating this upcoming move to Atlanta was having to tell Cal's nanny that we were leaving. Not so much for the employer-employee aspect of it--we have been making provisions for a few months now, and there is a fairly long list of families willing and eager to hire her, if she's interested in taking any of those positions. The difficulty is the same as with any family situation in which attachment is followed by separation.

Over the past few years, our nanny has become like a third parent to Cal. Probably this is galling to some who feel affronted by the notion that parents who cannot take care of their children full-time should not reproduce, but honestly, it is such a peace of mind for us to know that she knows and cares about him almost as much as Joe and I do. She spends her entire day with him, talks to him, is full of stories when we come home from work, knows him inside and out. She has become family. We trust her with him implicitly, over everyone. And there's a terrible guilt that you feel when you realize that you have put someone in the position to love your child so much, and that there comes a time that you eventually have to move that child away from them.

There was, of course, the fantasy that she would be able to move to Atlanta with us. It was just as much of a fantasy, ill-formed and childish, I suppose, as thinking that the good things never have to change. Our nanny even brought up the suggestion herself, more of an idle wish than anything else, as we all realized how untenable such a move would be. She has her own network, her own obligations, her own life. But it didn't stop us all from wishing.