An Ode to our Nanny and a tearful farewell

An Ode to our Nanny and a tearful farewell

You loved them like your own, though they were mine.

Is love unlimited or are you exceptionally kind?

You laughed with them and they came to you

And you had to smile even when you must’ve been blue.

I’l always remember the good through the rearview

I’l let go of the bad if you promise you will too.

I’l show the kids your picture and videos galore

As long as you manage to spread love even more.

Your baby is lucky she has a wonderful mother

Thank you for teaching me compassion for another.

She is gone.

One day I knew this time will come we all did. But when it came it was so final.

She came to me when my first child was 1 month old. He is now 7 years and 8 months. She came with positivity and youth. I looked up to her as someone experienced who will help me look after my baby something I knew nothing about.

Somewhere along the line the equation changed. I grew confident in my mothering and she didn’t know anything. Two women living under one roof is not easy, but when one is in a position of power over another sometimes the ugly rears its head.

She handled it all with grace and dignity. My ugly and tears, petty words and anger and my misdirected blame when things went wrong.

She shared in the love, all the fun parts in raising children. Their first steps, their funny little dances, songs and their silliness brought us both tremendous joy. Still it was me they would listen to or come to when they needed direction and she silently relented the spotlight.

It takes a village to raise children. Well she was my village. I can say that no other woman has stood with me through thick and thin over all these years. I felt comfort by her presence in those early years, that’s saying a lot as new mothers will know. The joys were shared but when my anger came the children had her to run to and she sheltered them, distracted them and brought smiles through the tears.

I have never expressed in words or actions what she meant to me and she may never read these words but I hope she knows.

All I know that this last month has led me to tears many times out of sheer worry for her. she is pregnant with her own baby now and that baby is due in July. I always thought she will have her baby in Bombay where her husband and her rented a small place and will come to see the children with her baby in tow. I was prepared for that eventuality. But he lost his job thanks to the COVID crisis, she doesn’t have hers as she will be baby rearing and Mumbai is an expensive city and like millions of others they are fleeing with all their belongings.

She left in a plane that I booked for her even though it is not advisable for a pregnant lady to travel she still needed to leave. I didn’t know if they would let her get on that flight but I wasn’t prepared to let her go by train. The images of people stranded and hungry and trains that don’t reach haunt me and I would never forgive myself if she didn’t get home safe. I promised to keep her with me and help her get her baby delivered and live with us till she could travel, incase they didn’t let her board. Amor said mamma she can just stay if she can’t go and I said yes it’s that simple.

But she got on that flight and is gone and I’l never know whether I would have followed through with the above thought.

The day before she left we had a party. The kids planned the menu, the decoration and the food and we had one evening of fun where she was finally given her due and her place in our home.

One person less exists in our house who loves my children unconditionally.

My children will forget and move on as children always do. I held them while they sobbed harder than they have ever done as they understood the finality of it, but forget and move on they will.

But I won’t forget. I’l remember with love the person who was by my side at my utmost vulnerable times and who never deserted me when I needed her the most. Having children takes an emotional and physical toll and she picked up my pieces. The dirty ones and the ones I am the least proud of. She picked them up, dusted them off and didn’t think the worst of me. For that I will be eternally grateful.

I don’t cry easily. We were not friends. I don’t know whether we even liked each other, probably not. We had a complicated relationship as women usually do, but who knows if this final goodbye has made me cry buckets then it must’ve been love.

Thanks for reading!