As Jenavieve has gotten older, it has been harder to take her to work. She didn't like getting up early to go, and she didn't like to nap there. So, we made the very difficult decision to leave. I told Laura I could go down to one day a week until she found someone, and she was able to find someone a week later. It was bittersweet, I've been there since the summer of 2005. Things changed a lot, from my first year when David introduced me as "my manny named Jammin" to everyone from the neighbor to the UPS guy, and Kaylee was just a baby. Now David is almost 7, excelling in 1st grade, missing some teeth, and loves playing his Star Wars game on the Wii. Kaylee will be 5 in May, loves school and dance class, and is really excited to be a big sister this summer. It has been amazing to watch them grow up and have so many fun experiences with them. It was truly my dream job, and I'm going to miss seeing the kids all the time.
On my last day, I asked Kaylee what she wanted to do. She said she wanted to go to the Hands on Museum in Ann Arbor. She packed her own lunch, called her friend Clara, and we were on our way. We all had fun, the big girls had Jenavieve be the sick person in the back of the ambulance, and pretended to be weather girls on the green screen. When we went home, we unpacked and waited for Laura to come home and for David to get off the bus. He came in and asked Laura if I was still going to babysit. I assured him that I'd see him again, and he started getting dressed to go to his friend's house. When he was little, I couldn't leave the house without a hug, a kiss, a high five, and waving to him in the window as I drove away. I asked if he was too big for hugs and he put his hand on his head and said "almost" and hugged me. Laura, Kaylee, and Clara waved to me from the window as I drove away.
As I was looking back over the last 5 years, a memory resurfaced that I had completely forgotten about. When David was 2 1/2, we watched Mary Poppins together on a gloomy winter day. When Mary Poppins was packing her things to leave and Jane and Michael were sad, David looked at me and solemnly said "they're sad because their manny is leaving". It was just my first year there, but it hit me that one day I'd have to leave, and it wouldn't be just the kids that would be sad.
But, life goes on, and I know I won't regret making this decision. It's been a week and it still hasn't really hit me that we're completely free birds after being in the habit of working for so long. It's amazing how fast the week went by though! I've heard retired people say that even though they've stopped working, they're just as busy as before. That's true of stay at home moms too!
So, now we spend our time with play groups, library activities, and visiting with family and friends. And so far, we're loving it.
Here are some pictures from my last day. Notice the matching shirts in the last 2 pictures, I love how Old Navy has been coming out with multi-racial shirts!