Immediately after ringing the doorbell, I heard the screams and yelps of joy.
“Bethany’s here! Bethany’s here!”
A towheaded little boy face appeared in the window- so tall now, almost three years after we first met. I saw him through his terrible threes and fearsome fours, guided him into his thankfully calmer fives before leaving their family. His younger brother appeared beside him, arms extended, babbling on about “two” (his age), “choo choooo” (trains, his favorite pastime), then bidding his mother goodbye- dismissing her from the house although she had no plans to leave. Their older sister arrived by the door, her years of dance classes I drove her to evident by her prancing feet and bouncing hair. She pressed a chocolate Valentine mouse into my hand, announcing that all three of them had worked on it together, for me.
Three kids, all different and yet all so close to my heart—after all, they were a huge part of my life for almost two years, so many bus stop runs (always running after the bus, that is), skinned knees, stern discipline talks, giggly fits of laughter that I can’t even begin to count.
As I introduced myself to the new nanny, now a good six months into the job, little A proclaimed, so excited he was literally bouncing,
“It is so nice that I get to see BOTH of my nannies in the SAME DAY!”
We spent an hour reminiscing about our multiple trips to the zoo, library story times, science center visits and park picnics with our friends. The two boys took turns in my lap, hugging tightly, letting go and then peering into my eyes, playing with my hair in between bites of pizza. The phrase “remember when?” must have been spoken at least twenty times before it was time for me to leave, off into the night. As I climbed into my car, warm tears welled in my eyes, so thankful for a night with my cute little valentines.