Our au pair, Jomari Bosch, has been such a life changer for our family. Personally, she is charismatic, smart, practical and loving. Our children love her, beyond words, and she is part of our family. Our extended family is so thankful for her presence in our lives. We feel so grateful to have her and know that her family in South Africa misses her deeply.
Dealing with Adversity
Jomari arrived in Detroit, Michigan on Wednesday March 11th. Two days later, life changed for everyone as we knew it. On Friday, March 13th 2020 (yes, Friday the 13th) our entire state shut down due to COVID-19 and our government’s response. We were the third hardest hit U.S. city at the start of COVID-19 pandemic and measures were drastic. Her original job description, basically getting the kids up for school and taking care of them after
school, was completely changed. Grade school and preschool were shut down. Jamie, host mom, is an essential physician worker out of the house, and Andy, host dad, was required to transition his busy job to working from home.
Our son, Thomas, was home from kindergarten, but the district hadn’t created a virtual curriculum, just kept them in holding with a few virtual activities. Jomari stepped up and provided a remote learning curriculum for him, just days into living in the US. Meanwhile, with Jomari’s other hand, she had to manage our adventurous and charismatic son Anderson, who’s quarantine goal was to become potty trained through the 3-day naked method. With what soon became more than 3 weeks of spirited naked Anderson running around in our house. Not only did she excel at this, but she continued this one-on-one tutoring throughout the summer. Thomas has improved in his scholastic endeavors, specifically related to reading and writing in which he had been struggling. Jomari now helps Thomas with 1st grade as has been completely remote the entire year. This change in job description is such a testament to Jomari’s character as she pulled her sleeves up (literally and figuratively) and made it work. Something we appreciate more than these words can say.
Our family is adventurous, and Jomari excitedly decided to jump right in. Due to the COVID pandemic, almost everything indoors was closed, leaving most people binging Netflix. It was still cloudy and 30-50 degrees Fahrenheit in Michigan for the next two months (coldest Jomari experienced in her life). We turned to mountain biking trails and parks. Even though Jomari had limited experience, she excitedly picked it right up. Jomari said she was never able to “ride bikes” at home at home because it wasn’t safe. We toured almost every local mountain bike trail in our three county area. Her shins were black and blue occasionally, but she always came back with us for more family fun.
What Jomari has given us
At the start of the pandemic, it was easy to feel upset about the loss of superficial things. We couldn’t go out to eat. Vacations were canceled. Parties and plans were canceled. At times, this was upsetting for us, but Jomari gave us a worldly perspective. A week after Michigan shut down, South Africa shutdown. We were concerned that Jomari would be worried about her family, feel homesick or even want to go home. Selfishly, we couldn’t even imagine what we would do if she wanted to go home, with daycare and school being closed. Jamie asked her if she wanted to travel back home and Jomari answered, “No. But thanks for asking! For the first time I can sleep at night and not worry that my house will be broken into. I feel safe here. And also, my mom feels comfortable that I am living with a doctor if something happens to me.” Then, that night, she got a message that her home in South Africa was broken into. Everyone was safe, just superficial things stolen. As Americans, there are so many things that we take for granted and don’t appreciate. Other examples like this
continue to happen in other shapes and forms involving opportunity, luxury, and recreation. She continually has allowed us to recognize reasons to be grateful, by her perpetual appreciation of just being here.
Additionally, Jomari is vegetarian and eats very healthy. She inspires us to make healthy choices. We try to eat vegetarian as well (for the most part, or at least on weekdays). This has been a real positive for us as she has impacted our diets for the better.
What our kids love about Jomari
When asking our kids (4 and 6 year old boys) what they love about Jomari, their answers include: EVERYTHING! Jomari loves Ford Mustangs! She is SOOO funny. She teaches us about music, like classic rock, hard rock, metal core, ACDC, Bon Jovi, and German rap. She makes me lots of food. She makes the BEST cheese sandwich. She loves cars. She teaches us about the world and South Africa. She loves us! If that doesn’t describe their love for her, this will. A few months into her stay, the boys would wake up and lie down outside of her bedroom door like puppies and wait for her to wake up, so
they could say “Good morning” and see her.
Welcome to America Moment
Jomari was given a 2011 Volkswagen Jetta wagon to transport herself and the kids during her time in Michigan. On a sunny summer Friday afternoon, on the way back home from the beach, Jomari and the kids were hit from behind by a fast-moving driver. A police officer saw the accident and assigned no fault to Jomari, but it obviously shook her up slightly. Jomari’s resilience showed through as she ensured safety for our children. She
calmly described the crash and the totaled car to the local police officer.
It was meant to be
Before meeting Jomari, we had a series of mishaps that led us to strongly consider an Au Pair. We had already tried a large daycare, small daycare, in-home daycare, after-hours care and multiple unreliable nannies. Our last nanny quit same-day, on a snow day. This threw us into a downward spiral that involved: no one being at the bus stop for our son after school, Jamie being pulled over for running an orange light in the school parking lot (luckily, no ticket), a dislocated elbow (now relocated) and a fender bender in our driveway between both of our cars. Arriving just days before an unforeseen global healthcare pandemic was just the start of “It was meant to be.” Jomari’s placement was perfect for our family. We have so many things to offer that other families or other areas of the country don’t. Our family loves cars. Jomari loves cars, particularly the Ford Mustang. Coincidentally, we live in the Motor City, home of Ford Motor Company. Additionally, we love history and have a very close grandfatherly family-friend who hosts Jomari and the kids regularly at the world famous Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. He loves to share his endless wealth of knowledge regarding these topics. Finally, Jomari has our same taste in music, which was an easy segway for dance parties and fun.
We are not sure what we did to deserve Jomari, but we thank God for her presence in our family. Jomari’s adventurous nature, can-do attitude in the face of adversity, willingness to help with all problems and her game changing help with our children’s scholastic efforts makes her an excellent candidate for the #lovemyaupair contest. Regardless of if she wins this contest, ourfamily already feel like winners.