Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Over the weekend as I presented Ollie with a cookie for dessert he let out a very clear and very enthusiastic "WOWWWWW!" and he continued to wow all weekend long.

My girlfriend who was visiting thought this was hilarious and asked where he got that from. I thought about it, I'm not a big "wow"-er, and I haven't really heard it from Chris either.. it didn't hit me until this morning - our lovely Nanny Jayne can often be heard marveling over something the boys have done with a soft and drawn out "wow!"

Ollie's new word has me reflecting on all of the people who he'll learn new things from. Friends, family, teachers, neighbours, my child will grow to reflect his experiences with all of them. It is fascinating right now to be able to pinpoint exact traits and their origins, and staggering to think of the complexity of influences and ideas he's going to be shaped by. It is easy to believe when you have a tiny newborn baby that you are going to mold and shape that blank little slate into someone with only the best and most perfect values and beliefs and behaviours you can model, but as they grow, so does the world they learn from.

So in these early years of his life, while I have a very little bit of control, finding someone to care for him who will let Ollie grow in a way that is natural for him while also modeling a worldview that is positive and thoughtful feels so important to me. Which is why having Jayne as his nanny has been so perfect.

Jayne joined us a few months ago to take on the considerable challenge of caring for two active toddlers and she's been such a wonderful addition to our home. Her gentle and enthusiastic way of allowing the boys to lead her through a day of activities that help them learn, grow and use lots of happy energy has set such a positive tone for workdays at our house. She's an interesting and interested person who is kind and generous and sweet, without veering towards saccharine (we like a bit of edge around here).  We have been so lucky to have her in our home, so it is such a bittersweet day today as we say goodbye to her and Chris takes over for the summer as a stay at home Dad. We are going to miss her so much.

Luckily we were not the first to discover the delightful Jayne. In fact, Jayne came to us by marriage - to my friend Anthony. And Jayne isn't only leaving our home because it is the end of our need for a nanny, she's also expecting her own little one in early August. So while we lose Jayne as a nanny we are so lucky to gain her as a friend. When Anthony first told me that he and his new wife were expecting a baby I had a little glimmer of hope that our boys would one day be friends. As I've come to know Jayne I'm certain that our two families will have a lifetime of shared joy and new words together. I'm hoping the ones that I teach their boy will be naughty ;)

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