It’s hard to say goodbye. It’s harder to say goodbye to family. It’s the hardest to say goodbye to an au pair that has been with you for an amazing year. I am getting ready to do just that! My au pair is starting to get excited about her travel month and as much as I hate it, I am so excited for her! This year I did some spectacular things with my au pair and she not only rose to the occasion, she surpassed all of our expectations and hopes! So, naturally, I nominated her for Au Pair of the Year!
In true “(host) mom” fashion, I plan to embarrass her… royally. Read all about my sappy letter below. Do you have an au pair you would like to nominate? Let me know and I will tell you all about this opportunity!
When I think about Julie, my eyes fill with tears and I am not even sure where to begin. I don’t remember what my life was like before this beautiful soul joined our family this past July. She is an amazing, gentle, warmth that wraps our family like a favorite blanket. She was always meant to be a part of us and for that, I am very grateful to have come across this wonderful young woman!
Let me begin by saying that Julie came into our lives and swept my three kids (5, 3, and 2) right off their feet and into this enchanting wonderland filled with creativity, color, music, and above all love! As I am writing this, I can hear the squeals of excitement and I have no doubt that she is donning a cape and chasing my 5 year old Superman around, while taking a short break to have a tea party with the 3 year old version of Princess Elsa, or reading a book with my little Minnie Mouse, before swiftly pouncing on a make believe criminal or terrorizing the city of Legos. She fills my children with discipline, healthy foods, fresh air, the kind of tender love and care that affects the way they see the world. She, of course, exemplifies all of the wonderful qualities that responsible Au Pairs possess; she is always punctual, carries out all of the professional responsibilities asked of her, and goes above an beyond in coming up with ideas and outings for the children. My favorite part of this cultural exchange experience is that she has been teaching my children German songs and words and each night when she says good bye to them, they all say, “Ich Liebe Dich, Kinderfrau!” (“I love you, Nanny!”) which makes my heart explode every time.
We aren’t what you may think of when you think of a traditional American Family. My husband and I are first generation Americans, in that our parents immigrated from India to the United States in the 70’s and we were both raised on opposite sides of the country. I speak to my children in Kannada exclusively, while he speaks to them in English, we celebrate Indian Holidays, embrace a vegetarian diet, and attend Hindu rituals. Julie had to quickly learn a handful of Kannada words in order to communicate with them because English often slips their mind when they are tired or hurt, and she did so in a matter of days. In our culture, we don’t call the people close to us by name; saying Miss Julie would be more appropriate, however, those who are truly close to us are called by another name, for example, we refer to the kids as brother, sissy, and baby. The kids didn’t think that it was appropriate to call her Miss, so they lovingly refer to her as Kinderfrau, and we have renamed her Kinderf-Rao so that she has the same name as all of us, the Rao Family!
For Thanksgiving this year, we travelled to India to attend my cousin’s wedding and Julie completely stole the show! Traveling with 3 children for a 40 hour journey is no small feat, but visiting a new country is certainly a once in a lifetime experience. She not only tried to be open-minded, she jumped feet first and immersed herself in the people, the culture, the food, the clothes, everything. We stayed in my Great-Grandfather’s 250 year old home for the first few days with no: running hot water, modern toilets, air conditioning, and best of all, the house is secluded in the middle of a jungle! She had no problem taking a bath out of a bucket, eating on the floor off of banana leaves, dancing with a sari on, and riding in cars with 10 people packed in! She bonded with my grandfather, and although they couldn’t say a single word to each other because they didn’t share a language, when we left, Julie said a tearful goodbye and thank you, and he responded by saying, “Julie, I think that you were my daughter in a previous life. I am so lucky to have met you in this life. Our hearts are one, and our souls are joined together, forever.” This didn’t help with our goodbyes as now all three of us were crying, but it just goes to show exactly how we all feel about this amazing young woman!
*Pictured Left: Julie and me in India this past Thanksgiving on our family vacation. This was an amazing experience as a host mom, being able to travel with my au pair. In a world of late bed times, crazy foods, and no rules when our family was in vacation mode, it was wonderful to have consistency of our beautiful au pair, loving my kids! It’s also a testament to Julie since she was up for anything!! She must have tried a hundred different things on this trip! I couldn’t love her more!*
If ever there was someone who deserved to be recognized, it’s Julie Kochersheidt, she has been an inspiration, friend, confidant, and amazing role model. She has not only touched the lives of so many in Germany and America, but has flown over oceans and touched so many lives in India! As a Local Childcare Consultant for Cultural Care and Host Mom for several years, I have come across a lot of wonderful Au Pairs, but no one can compare to this “fake daughter” of mine. That’s the beauty of having an Au Pair, they are a part of our lives forever, and as my son says every morning when he wakes up, “I miss her face when I am sleeping…” I miss her face, too. And I always will.
Sunday, 29 May 2016 7:06 PM