I used to be a nanny, I know I've mentioned this before. What I haven't mentioned (or if I have, I haven't explained the reasons why) is that I swore I would never nanny again. It isn't that I don't love the work -- I do -- or that I think myself better than it -- I don't. But having a body which will never produce children has made me sensitive to other people's families.
It's difficult watching children with their parents, seeing a mother's eyes or a father's ears in miniature, knowing I'll never see myself on my own children. I know it doesn't matter -- my children, wherever they come from, will be loved fiercely, and really, isn't that all that matters?
But I would be fooling myself if I said that was all that matters when I know it isn't. It may not occur frequently, but I know there will be times (and there have been already) when I will mentally spit n this body which has not only let me down, but which has pre-emptively let down my future lover, the father of my children.
I once read that babies tend to resemble the father, more than the mother, at birth, an evolutionary trait which helps the father accept the child as his own. A mother who has laboured nine months to bear a child doesn't need this assurance.
I have lived two weeks in New City, and already I am in love (though it may be that heady, giddy, thoughtless love which is exhilarating, yet fleeting). There is never need to be bored here, and my neighbourhood and neighbours are beautiful. My sister is with me, and I am surrounded by friends. But money goes quickly when you haven't much to begin with, and it isn't always easy to find work before the money runs out. So I did what I said I wouldn't, and took a job as a nanny. It isn't forever, the family knows this, saying I am too smart and talented and funny for them to expect me to stay beyond the spring, but they are okay with this. I had one difficult moment the first day when I pushed the older boy in the swing higher! higher! and watched the baby, The Happiest Person in the World, sit on his blanket and play with his toothbrush. There they were, miniatures of their parents, and my heart and eyes welled up. But the moment was fleeting, and I felt fortunate.