I have filled her arms with pictures in frames and things that are wrapped but she won't open her gifts in front of us. We're all crying because, once again, we have bumped our heads against an ending.
All week I've been crying.
And she's been crying.
And then Revi cries because we're crying and Fable cries because everyone is crying and eventually we're all crying and then we're laughing because we're crying and then we're crying again.
The girls don't understand when I tell them that in the mornings come next week and the week after that and all the weeks after that... she won't be there anymore.
"Ta-ta go home and come back later?"
Next week she starts a new job with a new family and the week after that the twins start preschool full-time.
Tamara has been with us since Bo and Revi were two months old. Every morning at 6:55 (she has always been early) the front door would swing open and there she would be, crouched down in the hallway as half naked babes ran full force into her arms
"Ta-ta here!" (The girls have called her Ta-ta since they began to talk and couldn't pronounce Tamara so now we all call her Ta-ta.)
"Good morning, Bo-Bo. Good morning, Revi."
And, just like that, she's off...
And it hurts.
Even though we'll still see her (because, of course) and she'll always be in my kids lives (because, of course), the nanny gig is a heartbreaking one. I don't know how one can go about loving that hard and then leaving that fast...
How do you do it?
"I love them like my own," she said to me as we sobbed like insane people into each other's shoulders this afternoon.
"I know you do. Thank you."
And I am so incredibly grateful. To Tamara and to all of those who work with small children through their infancy and toddlerhood, knowing that someday they will have to let them go... It is an incredibly selfless job and to all the nannies, I am hugging you. And to all the families, I am hugging you, too.
It truly takes a village to raise our children and without Tamara these last two and a half years, I would have been lost. Which is exactly how I felt in her arms as she hugged me goodbye.