Monday, February 7, 2011

Saying Goodbye

After more than a year, N. is leaving.  I can't believe it.  We all know how hard it is to let go and allow someone else, in particular a stranger, to come into our homes and take care of our children, so when we find someone that really works out, it's especially sad when they leave.  I remember interviewing her last year, both Steve and I dubious about this person with the difficult-to-understand English, coming from an agency that facilitates the EDCD waiver but generally is not known for working with children.  But Samantha was not.  She warmed to her immediately, and stole the knit hat off of her head, putting it on her own.  The woman was friendly and gracious, and spoke warmly to Samantha, playing along with her antics.  So we gave her a try.  And through good times and some slightly trying times (usually resulting from the language barrier), N. quickly became Samantha's best friend.

However, due to some medical issues, N. is leaving her job to get well.  I worry about how to break it to Sammi, how to tell her N. isn't coming back after this week, when she wakes and asks for her.  How to help her understand.  I'm already envisioning the watering eyes and the quivering lip that we're bound to get when we say, "N. isn't coming today, Samantha..."  My mother had a wonderful idea that we should talk to her about it a lot this week and let Sammi know that we're going to have a party next Saturday to say goodbye.  That may help Samantha to feel a bit more in control about it.  Or Sammi may just think it's N.'s birthday...  (If any of you have any other ideas about how to create a smooth transition for this event, please share!!)

N. still really wants to keep Sammi in her life in some way, and while it's always possible that she may come back one day, she has told Samantha that she'll call her, and will come babysit whenever we need her once she's feeling better.  And in the meantime, hopefully we can go to her house to visit her and bring a get-well card. 

We don't know what will be next.  Who the next person will be that shares 15-20 hours a week with my baby so we can work our jobs after she gets home from school, who can give her the 1 on 1 time she needs and keep her stimulated, engaged and safe.  N. was an educator back in her country, and loved to teach Samantha new things.  She took great pride in Sammi's accomplishments, and celebrated them as much as we did. 

We'll miss her.


stephanie said...

AWW, i remember a post you wrote some time ago about N, and she does sound wonderful. I'm so sorry she has to leave, poor Sammi. hoping and praying for a smooth transition for the whole family!!

Cathleen said...

It is SO hard, I know! We've had to say goodbye to many people in Lilly's life. It's especially hard when your child has "clicked" with someone so well! But while it might be hard for Sammi, it might be a positive thing overall - who knows what the next person will bring to your family, and (at least what I tell myself as our lives change too frequently) change is good. It keeps Lilly on her toes. :) But thinking of you guys this week as you say goodbye... :(

ParkerMama said...

Oh, it truly is so very hard to lose a trusted care giver. I hope everything transistions smoothly for you.

Tammy and Parker

Carol N. said...

Sorry to hear that, I hope N. is able to recuperate.

What came to my mind to do: make a small book of N and Samantha. It could be very simple....just photos.

Samantha and N. were great friends.
Samantha loved N.
Samantha says, "good-bye, N. Take care!" or, "love you, bye!"

Then, if she's having a hard time, you could tell her to read her Sammi and N book and say I love you.

I have NO idea if this would be a good idea or the complete opposite. Would it make her miss N. more, or give her some closure.


Rochelle said...

Bummer, will be praying for a smooth transition for Sammi!

Lacey said...

Oh so hard to say goodbye! I just hope she does ok with her being gone, and that you can find someone else fantastic!

RobMonroe said...

Oh Rebecca - I remember when you found her, and how great she is with Samantha. I hate when health plays a role in decisions like this.

(I had to quit a job with junior and senior high "kids" at a church because my body could not handle the extra schedule. Broke my heart.)

Cathleen said...

I agree re: pictures. Each time we move we have pictures of Lilly's favorite people that we have to leave behind, and she loves to look at them as we settle into our new journey, and talk about her old people. Also we watch the scene in Muppets take Manhattan "Saying goodbye" and now when she has to leave someone for good she instigates singing that song herself... "Saying goodbye, why is it sad, makes us remember the good times we had..." (The muppets teach so much about life!)