It’s been a little over a year now since our Au Pair Sarah, has come into our lives. It’s been such a wonderful year. In order to explain why she means so much to us, we must first tell you a little bit about her. Sarah is as warm and welcoming as the Australian sunshine of her homeland. Her positive attitude and outlook is infectious. She has an up-for-anything spirit, a can-do approach to everything, and her energy is never-ending. Other moms in our first grader’s class tell us that after school on the playground, she’s running around playing tag with my kids and half of their own kids. At a function for our younger son’s preschool, one of the parents, asked us who was our new Au Pair, and after describing her physically, the next thing that came out of my mouth was, “always has a smile on her face,” and the parents knew exactly who we were talking about.
Sarah takes all of those wonderful qualities and naturally inserts them into her role as caregiver to our children. Our two boys are very active and love to play sports and run around outside. Sarah is right there playing with them, tossing a ball, chasing them around the yard, shooting baskets with them. Most importantly though, you can see that she truly loves doing all of it. It never seems like a job or chore for her, you can sense how much she enjoys what she’s doing and how she values the time she spends with them. There’s never a sense that she’s waiting for quitting time, or that she has other places she’d rather be. It means the world to us to see our boys having so much fun, being so happy, laughing and playing right along with her and knowing she feels the same way.
Sarah’s optimism and positivity have been such a breath of fresh air.
As two busy parents working full-time jobs, sometimes it’s very easy to get caught up in the stress of making it through the day, transitioning from parent in the morning to employee during the day, back to parent in the evening, and not letting some of your frustrations get the better of you. Trying to stay in the routine of getting everyone out the door, staying on schedule, remembering the schedule, and getting dinner on the table can make it hard to stay upbeat and stop and enjoy the little things. Watching Sarah interact with the kids reminds us every day just how important that is, and how much the kids respond to it. She’s taught us how to approach things with a glass-is-half-full attitude. A lot of times, if the kids aren’t listening, our knee jerk reaction will be, “If you don’t do this, you won’t get that.” But Sarah’s naturally optimistic outlook leads her to say “Hey, if you do this, you can earn that.” I find myself trying to adopt this more positive approach, not only because it’s more effective, but it’s just generally a better environment to be a part of.
Similarly, I’ll be doing something with my 5-year-old, and he’ll say something to me like, “Well, you don’t know until you try, mom,” or if his favorite team has lost a game, he’ll say something like “Well, at least they scored 2 points instead of zero.” Or if he’s getting frustrated while trying to do something he’ll say “I’m not going to say I can’t.” These phrases are all a direct reflection on how Sarah finds the good in everything, in everyone, and in every situation and how she’s weaved that into the boys’ lives. While it clearly benefits the boys, I think collectively, as an entire family we are all the better for it.
Sarah’s love and compassion know no bounds and we are the lucky recipients of it every day she’s here with us. She truly enjoys being part of our family. She loves doing the everyday stuff, even when it’s her day off. She’ll come to a soccer practice or game on a Saturday, not because she has to, but because she wants to. She loves coming to ball games with us or traveling to different places and living our experience. It means so much that she wants to, and enjoys being part of our lives, and we can’t imagine a more wonderful person to be a part of ours.