Ana our Au Pair
A – Amazing
N – Nurturing
A – Admirable
A – Authentic
U – Understanding
P – Protective
A – Appreciative
I – Intelligent
R – Responsible
Ana is beyond AMAZING; she is first and foremost loyal. From the moment she landed in Los Angeles and her first steps into our car, we knew we had an incredible new addition to our family. She is engaging and interactive with my twins and always has encouraging words of wisdom when they doubt themselves. She embodies the true meaning of do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Her NURTURING spirit is what bonded her to my kids early on. She doesn’t just talk to them; she talks with them at their level and gives them an opportunity to respond and share. When they are sick, she stays by their side even though she knows she too could get sick as well. She wants what is the best for them with her whole being. She cooks them delicious nutritious meals and even has the heart to say “no” when it’s too many sweets. They accept her response because they know her answer is given with love and appreciation for their health.
ADMIRABLE is an understatement for Ana, she gains everyone respect and approval because it is obvious once you meet her that she is genuine with her words and actions. Her demeanor is accepting of everyone and she lifts those up around her who may be less fortunate, treating everyone as an equal. Her personality has helped shape my kids into well rounded little human beings. They strive to mimic her behavior especially in trying to achieve tasks or sports. She gives them the needed encouragement to want to try even if it doesn’t end with a medal or first place. I remember at one of my daughter’s gymnastics’ tournaments, she had a tough go on the beam and after an encouraging word from Ana she excelled to her highest score on the next skill. She continues to push my son with his golf and taekwondo spending numerous hours helping him to achieve even higher kicks. Helps quite a bit since she too is a black belt in karate.
Ana is AUTHENTIC, which is quite difficult to maintain in this society hidden behind a screen and filters. She shares her true self with us, engaging us in her cultural rituals and favorite family activities. For me Ana has been an inspiration! Our relationship has evolved well beyond employer-employee, host momdaughter; it’s been a true friendship! Not only for me, but she is friends with my friends! Before quarantine when it was safe to hang out, she would often join me on outings not only with my friends, but my family as well. She became like one of my other nieces. She would often go to the beach, shopping or out to dinner with my two nieces. They call and text each other just like family. When there’s a girlfriends’ birthday or significant holiday, Ana receives her own invitation. Her authenticity can easily be felt by those who encounter her. The teachers, coaches, tutors all refer to her as my niece.
Her UNDERSTANDING nature is what makes everyday life so bearable. For those of us juggling careers, parenthood, friendships, aging parents, etc. we know how difficult it can be to share. Ana sees what is happening around her and adjusts; aiding and providing helpful hands even before you can ask. If one thing 2020 has taught us is that things are unpredictable, and she continues to be understanding and rolls with all the punches this year has offered in a patient and cheerful manner.
She is quite PROTECTIVE of not only the twins, but me. Standing up to and responding when we have encountered not so friendly neighbors at the store. We have both strengthened our love for working out and have a routine we follow daily. We expanded our home gym and she encourages and pushes me daily to be the best of myself. She tells me all the time I need to lift even heavier to ensure I can protect myself and the kids when she leaves. Our workouts have bought us much closer and challenges us to be the best version of ourselves by pushing one another to limits we were unsure we could reach. As a mother approaching 50, I didn’t think it was possible to run 11 miles or back squat 230 lbs. Ana brings out the best in us all!
APPRECIATIVE is an understatement from Ana. She never asks and is always so gracious when something is given to her. For over 2 years, whether it’s a simple coffee, meal, outfit or gift; Ana always says thank you and is truly humbled by what we provide. Of course, this makes us want to provide for her even more. She is always teaching me new ways to become more efficient whether it’s in household chores, my approach to parenting or ideas for my friends. She helped us create “boo” gifts at Halloween for our kid’s friends and we designed Holiday gift baskets for kids in their classroom. All of this was to teach the kids to give without the expectation of receiving.
Ana has the ability to digest information easily and to make adjustments. She is quite INTELLIGENT and shares her knowledge openly. During her time with us, she received two certifications in childhood development above and beyond what was required for the program and has mastered English, both in writing and speaking. When she, I and my girfriends’ gather it is usually Ana that is carrying the conversation and making everyone laugh. She has shared so much about her country with my kids that my kids already have in their journals that when COVID restrictions are lifted we are all traveling to Mexico to meet our extended family aka Ana’s family. My daughter walks around with her journal taking notes about what Ana shares and has a list of all the places and activities that are a must see in Ana’s hometown. When we encounter challenges at home, it is often a helpful hint or new approach to looking at an issue from Ana that has led to a resolution.
2020 has not been the most kind to any of us, but what Ana continuously reminds us of is that we need to be grateful for what we do have and to be RESPONSIBLE for one another. It is her responsibility and accountability that has led to our family gaining a new addition and our hearts expanding to a new level that didn’t seem possible. Our love and appreciation for having Ana the Au Pair in our lives cannot be matched. Forever and ever grateful… the Fords!