My Nanny Diaries!
The one big thing that I have learned in the years I have taken care of children is what complete, complicated, emotional human beings they are! Yes, there are still areas where they are developing & growing, but they think, feel, & reason! It is in these moments when you realize what an AMAZING Creator we truly have!
I have had the wonderful privilege of being a caretaker to seven amazing children for nearly four years! Six of those are in the same household…
I would like to take a moment to share with you, as I have done every year, a little bit of who they are as “tiny humans”…
THE SCALF FAMILY
I had a dream one day that I would be able to have a job where I would care for children, take them on adventures, cuddle them when they go scared, & encourage them to be brave! It has been a dream that has been daily realized through my care of the Scalf children! While, there have been bumps, bruises, & hurts along this road, all in all it has been one of the richest gifts God has given me. Dave & Amy have taught me, in abundance, what it means to love, sacrifice, & give. They have shown what healing looks like. The ache remains & slowly transforms us by its tender hands!!! The joy of caring for their children has been transformative & I know, will make me a better Mother to my children one day!
I love Sophie’s middle name. It captivates the spirit of this young woman. She is intelligent, one of the quickest witted children I have ever seen, childlike & womanly all at the same time. She carries her emotions & sass on her sleeve! She is caring & tender. She likes to push boundaries & has extremely strong opinions, but this will fuel her drive in life. I pray that the grace & love she shows towards others will shine through, her childlike wonder will never leave, & her strong will allows her to reach her dreams. Sophie got the kids to put a goody basket for me! It was just a brown lunch bag with candy in it, but Sophie had taken the time to write a note from each child in the family. I took them home & read each one carefully. It was a truly precious moment of laughing through tears. All of the notes captured the personality of each child. They will be something I will keep with me forever! I love when she gets a case of the “sillies”!!! Her laughter can make the world go round. I love when she rests her head on my shoulder or snuggles with me on the couch. This doesn’t happen as much as she has gotten older, but having her in my life, those small moments, are cherished times.
His laugh can also make the world go round. When he is happy your day is infinitely better. I love when he gets excited! He is a complicated internal young man with deep emotions. He feels things deeply & thinks about things deeply. He looks at this world with an inquisitive mind, trying to figure it out. Things are very black & white with Aiden. He is an amazing big brother. A typical boy who loves to laugh at all the gross stuff boys never quite get over finding funny. When he & his best friend Ethan get together there is no telling what will be said. Aiden rarely shows physical affection, but when he does, it will melt your heart! He is a protector. While, he can drive his sister Haley completely batty (they have a typical brother/ sister relationship), if anyone was to try to harm her or say ugly things about her he would be on them in a second. He loves scary movies, books, & just being silly. I have a lot in common with him & I LOVE talking about life with him. His love for God & others is evident! There is no telling what will come from this man in the future. I am certainly excited to see what it is. I hope to continue to have deep meaningful conversations with him in the future.
This is the first year I get to give her name & put her picture up! She is now an adopted member of the family. Haley is probably one of the most loving children I have ever met. She is extremely intelligent & funny! She loves being a part of life. She can barely stand being left out. She is the first to give hugs & kisses to me. She is always eager to be my helper. I love teaching her to cook. Our baking days are so much fun. She is expressive & silly. She is one of the best snugglers I know. I absolutely love snuggling on the couch with her watching, giggling, & talking about some of my favorite cartoons as a child. Haley likes to be in control, but I think it is do in great part to having no control in her early life! She can feel untethered when she loses control & her emotions collapse. She had a breakdown with me last week. God gave me a real picture of myself! When I become untethered I quickly lose control & my emotions collapse. God often has to take me kicking & screaming down the hall where I need to be. In that moment I had such deep love & compassion for Haley. Even in this reckless moment she was one of the most amazing young girls I know. I saw how God sees me! I won’t lie that I pray for her most of any of the Scalf children, but I also have this sure peace that God is going to do amazing things with this little spirit! When she says, “I love you Melissa” it is almost my undoing! Her heart is as deep as the sea. She is utterly captivating & I love her.
When I look back on the amazing journey this little man has taken, what he has had to overcome, & the spirited gift he is, I am fully confident in a great God of infinite & real miracles. If you looked at Wyatt today, other than the glasses he wears, you would never know he was a shaken baby. He is a walking, talking miracle. You would never know that he didn’t really start walking until he was 2 & talking around 2 ½! The child runs, jumps, plays, & talks non-stop about anything & EVERYTHING! Do not say anything you don’t want repeated, because he listens to everything! He is inquisitive & concerned about others more than himself. Now, that doesn’t mean he isn’t strong willed & doesn’t want his way. However, he is the first person to come to someone’s defense. He does not want anyone sad or hurting - he considerate of others feelings. I remember us walking into my Mom’s house & he saw a wreath. He asked her what it was. She told him & he said, “I love it!” If he wants something he usually says, “Ms. Melissa would you please get this for me?” It is rare that he won’t say thank you. He loves to go. The boy would go all the time if you let him, but whenever I take the kids out he always thanks me & tells me what a good time he had. We play who’s the silliest, he usually starts, “Melissa, you are so silly!” “No, Wyatt, you are silly!”…& on it goes. Sometimes out of the blue he will go, “Melissa, I love you!” He is an utter gift! God has got a future & plan for this young man & I hope I will be on the sidelines cheering him on!!!
Forever & always my boy! I am so proud of the beautiful playful spirit he has. He wears his emotions on his sleeve. He gives the most amazing bear hugs you have EVER had. He lives for laughter, but doesn’t like to be the center of attention. He is speech delayed, but there is very little he cannot communicate. Some of my favorite words he uses are “piss” for kiss & “bitch” for bridge. Don’t be alarmed, he isn’t cussing at you, he just wants to give you a kiss or show you a bridge! Every morning we are driving to school &, without fail, he screams out “Walmart”! The other day we were getting out of the car to go into school. He gets out, stands there for a minute, climbs back in the car & sits in Wyatt’s seat! I ask him what he is doing & responds with one word, “told” (cold)! He calls me “Sissy” or “Sissa”. One morning I was picking out clothes & I hear him call down the hallway, “Sissa, where you go?” One of my favorite things is when he is excited to show me something & he grabs my hand & says, oh so excitedly, “come ear, come ear!” If you get on to him he will often fold his arms across his chest, huff, & say, “I mad at you!” I love his expressive spirit, his heart, he personality…I know that God is going to provide a very specific & wonderful road for him to walk on.
Oh boy, the one we didn’t know we needed!!!! This child is forever cracking me up. Amy & I marvel at her genius. She is the first on target child we have had & it often throws me for a curve. She has a personality to rival anybody. Watch out kids because a new hen has arrived to rule the roost. When you take her picture she just smiles as big & pretty as you please. She knows what she wants & doesn’t mind telling you in no uncertain terms. She LOVES to dance. That booty shakes & that head sways to the rhythm…baby got moves! She has just really started snuggling. I was gone a good bit over Christmas break & when I came back & picked her up she laid her head on my shoulder & stroked her fingers across my arm. I realized one day, after about an hour & a half, that she wasn’t going to take a nap. It wasn’t because she was crying; it was because she was playing! I walk in to find her standing on her head with the “ba-ba” between her legs! She is so goofy & an utter ham! I love her stinky face…she will scrunch that nose up, grin, & sniff through her nose. I don’t worry a moment about what comes her way. She handles it with confidence & outgoing tenacity. She is a TRUE GIFT!!!
THE MEADOWS FAMILY
I had the privilege 2 years ago to take care of Ethan during the summer. It has been a treasure to get to know Aiden’s best friend. I have also had the great honor of getting to know the wonderfully generous & caring people that are Doug & Beth Meadows. I am so blessed on this journey to see God’s love manifest in others.
I relate to this boy in so many ways! We love the same things…pirates, movies, make-believe, & wonder. He is truly one of the most creative young men I know. His wit & humor is beyond compare. One day, we had been watching a marathon of the Pirates of the Caribbean; he comes out completely decked in a pirate outfit. He had a pirate hat, he had made a sword from an old plastic arrow he had, which he attached a piece of construction paper, he had tied a toy gun around his waist with a belt…all I could think in this moment, was utter genius!!! In a world where so many children have lost their sense of imaginative play it is deliciously wonderful to see that spirit. He is a gifted artist & I have no idea how God is going to use that in the future. He makes me laugh, he is caring & compassionate! He loves to laugh & as I said before, when Aiden & he are together there is no telling where the day is going to go. He is so good with the other Scalf children. Wyatt loves him & I love watching Ethan be tender & caring with him. It is an honor to know this treasured gift. I cannot wait to see all the amazing things he will do in the future.