We leave Cincinnati on Sunday for a new life in rural Pennsylvania, where they will be constantly immersed in the love and support of family.
We have no family here.
But we do have Mary.
And leaving her will be hard.
I had given up on finding a part-time sitter for the twins nearly two years ago when she came along. My criteria was simple: no guns, no pools, no smokers. I made that clear before I interviewed caregivers. Yet, six interviews later, I found that only one had been truthful with me, but her house was not suitable for highly active identical twins.
I was depressed.
I wanted to write.
Matthew and Jonathan needed socialization.
I mentioned my dilemma to a neighbor.
And she mentioned Mary.
Mary works as a nanny for this neighbor. She is a former preschool director with an obvious adoration for children. She was thrilled to take Matthew and Jonathan into my neighbor's home for three mornings, two or three days a week. Our neighbor was also happy to have playmates for her two children.
Matthew and Jonathan never cried when I dropped them off.
Only when I picked them up.
Mary read to them, she painted with them, she sang with them, she cuddled them, she rocked them, she laughed with them. And she never needed name tags. Matthew and Jonathan do not understand that they won't see Mary again, but I do.
And this walk down the street today will be hard.
I tried to find a card that expressed our feelings for her.
But I couldn't.
Nothing out there sufficed.
So I wrote and this is what came out:
(Disclaimer: I am no poet!)
From the moment we met
you saw us as two,
We knew that.
We felt that.
you always nurtured our oneness.
You let it grow.
You let us be,
and helped us to become.
You cautioned us with gentle hands,
guided us with patient voice,
smiled for us
with a warmth that could only be
Love for Matt.
Love for Jon.
Love for Matt and Jon.
There will never be another Miss Mary.
There never could be.
We will miss you
We will miss you