Nicole, my daughter, lives in NYC and her two boys are 3 and 1. Finally, the 1 year old says, “LaLa” into the phone. I am someone’s LaLa. We facetime at least once a week, but I only get to see the boys a couple of times a year. I appreciate the facetime calls and know about the minutia of their days. I always bring B raisins & send them in the mail sometimes as a treat. B didn’t like the last book I sent because the sick teddy bear in the book made him sad, but he asked me to send him another one with trucks. It is so difficult being long distance. And, now, Dad has taken a job in Denver, moving them even further away soon.
So, being long distance is difficult, but being someone’s Lala is even more complicated than that. You see, I have a daughter who has 2 boys….well, they aren’t her boys, but she spends a lot of time with them. Nicole is a Certified Professional Nanny and B & T are her “charges.” She has spent 17 months with these boys, 50 hours a week. I refer to them as my Grandcharges instead of my grandchildren. I know their milestones, their likes and dislikes, the way they frustrate my daughter at times.
Nicole calls to ask me advice and to share the cute things they say. She sends pictures and drawings and I am always sharing stories with my friends about these adorable boys. They are similar to grandchildren except that I am nothing to their parents. I don’t know the parents, but I know these boys well. I play peek a boo via facetime, but I have no true connection to them. They will move, my daughter will move with them, but eventually she may find another job, these treasures will grow up without me knowing what happens next. Strange. How does one prepare for this “letting go” process? Who can relate to this experience? How can you talk potty training and eating peas and blowing kisses with a child that you have no real rights to even know. I’m just not sure.
I do not know what this kind of a relationship is supposed to be like or even what it will become, but I can tell you that right now, I love these boys. Their calls brighten my days and I am so proud of the young lady who spends her time with them. I guess we can say that though we aren’t all family, we have created one big happy “Nannily!”