It's only October 12, two and a half months before Christmas and gift giving, but I am not the kind of person who thinks about Christmas in the fall. I often postpone Christmas shopping until the very-few-days before Christmas. Often, the crowds are sparse, the merchandise on sale, and there's no better time than the present to immerse in the Christmas spirit.
But lately, I've been thinking about Christmas and more specifically the Christmas presents I will give to my grandchildren's caregivers--one woman whom I have never met. The nannies are at the top of my list because I think a lot about them. I pray for them. They are, after all, taking care of the most precious people in my life. All day, three days a week and five days a week. Somehow, I believe that my one-time Christmas gift can compensate for all their time and care.
Veronica takes care of a precocious four year old and his five month old baby sister. She takes him to preschool, coaxes him to eat and pick up his toys. Veronica changes diapers, makes sure nap schedules are met and even tidies the house. She is a year older than me.
Meagan takes care of an almost three year old and an eighteen month old, whom I lovingly refer to as the bandits. Times two, they are curious, both in diapers, and prone to dump things out, dig things up, and drag things about. Meagan is in her twenties.
When I am in charge of the grandchildren, I need Tony's help. I'm worn out after an hour, and I worry incessantly about their safety--bumping heads, scissoring off fingers, or wandering out the door during nap time. I often wonder how I raised my own children. My shortcomings help me to appreciate these women who are doing one of the most important child raising jobs possible.
And so, the caregivers are at the top of my Christmas list. Their gifts won't be elaborate or life changing--they will be just enough to express how much I appreciate their work.