Farewell Miss Rachael

*** I wrote most of this the week after Miss Rachael left. But then it became unfinished. It was Christmas time after all. This is one draft (Yes, I have a ‘pile’ of unfinished blogs) that I do want to complete. Miss Rachael was a valued part of our family while she worked here and we miss her dearly. I think that deserves a feature on my blog! (Not to mention she made me heart happy!)

Miss Rachael

On Thursday we said “Goodbye” to Miss Rachael. There were tears. Yes there was. Inevitable when you have had somebody who has just molded into your family for the past two years and made such a lasting contribution to it. Mind you, the actual farewell, there was only Miss Rachael and I with red eyes. The kids were wrapped up in their own egocentric kids world. Trent did have red eyes too.

Although his red eyes occurred when he opened his Christmas present from Miss Rachael and had seen a worm on the front cover of the book and declared he didn’t like worms. Then he declared he only wanted green books. “Because green is his favourite colour”, says he. Then the root of his dissatisfaction was truly revealed when he said that he only wants toys in presents. Specifically he wants a Gup X. We all know he wants a Gup X. It’s all he can talk about.  Each day. Every day. All day. Thank goodness Target had them on special last week. Christmas may be ruined if a Gup X was not featured. In the meantime, we will be doing some intensive training over the next five days on present etiquette, gratefulness and polite behaviour. When he is old enough, I may include re-gifting in the training program. Not that he will need to regift, “Superworm” by Julia Donaldson and Axel Schiffer. I know he will enjoy that literature immensely, once he has got over his initial disappointment, (also caused by an extremely late night the previous evening), it’s exactly the type of book Trent loves. Of course Miss Rachael knows this.

**Now that he has the Gup X in his possession and he is able to concentrate on other delights of life, “Superworm” has become a firm favourite. Of course Miss Rachael chose well!

It’s all part of being an excellent In Home Carer. She knows the extensive list of ‘likes’ and ‘don’t likes’ for each one of my children. She knows when they need to be pulled into line and when they need a cuddle.

We have been very blessed that in Australia, we are eligible to receive “In Home Care”. Basically this entitles us to get in an “In Home Carer” (similar, but not the same as a nanny) in our home for 24 hours a week, (more if you work a certain amount of hours per week), to help with the children. We can then claim the CCB and CCR (Childcare Benefits and Childcare Rebate) off her wages. We qualify because we have three (or more, in our case four!) children who are below school age.

There are lot of practical implications of why it has been beneficial having Rachael in our home. I am able to pop out and run errands without children during the day, or take a child or a reduced number of children with me. Which makes life so much easier. There is someone playing with the children at the end of the day while I am making dinner, when they are normally doing the cranky pants routine. Which makes them less cranky and the early evening far more manageable. I’ve also been able to have her minding the kids while I use the computer to do my job, because sometimes, I’m just too exhausted in the evenings to work effectively. I’ve even been able to communicate with you via my blog having Miss Rachael around, because sometimes I need the opportunity to unwind, or catch up, and having her here means I can.

Rachael and I are actually quite similar in many ways. Which is incredibly reassuring when it is someone you entrusting your kids care too. Her reactions to my children, are often very similar to my own. Often incidences will arise, and I will leave Rachael deal with them, (which is necessary for her to build her own rapport and boundaries with the children), but when it’s all over with, I’m often relieved that most of the time, she has handled it in the same way I would have. Such a comfort.

Even beyond that we share similar interests, we both love reading and children’s literature. Whenever I receive boxes of books in the mailbox from Scholastic, Miss Rachael is just excited as I am! We both love snuggling up with a child and immersing them in literature. We both blog, which has been very beneficial to me, because Miss Rachael is far more adept at computer usage than I am, which means she has also become my personal I.T. support and blog designer. (Didn’t she do a great job making this page look pretty?) We both are not naturally sporty, which is a shame really, because neither of us naturally thinks to throw a ball with the kids or play cricket. But we recently identified this as our weakness and had been trying harder. We both also have a weakness for chocolate, which I count as proof of her excellent taste! We now are both teachers, which is why Miss Rachael is leaving us. We both like writing with fine point pens!

One area that we are not alike is that I am incredibly untidy person. She is not. I have been watching her very carefully to try and duplicate her methods. Because honestly, when left to my own devices, before I know it, a mess has formed. Then Rachael arrives and oh my goodness, within the hour it is so much more orderly. It’s like a breath of fresh air! Admittedly, it is easier to restore order when there is two in the home, because the children can be distracted and dispersed. At the moment, it just feels like I am constantly putting out fires and have no time to do anything else when I am alone. But that’s another story. However, even when I go out, I come home and my angelic Rachael has it feeling so very lovely. It’s the most delightful feeling.

**The thing I most valued about Miss Rachael was how much she cared for my children, emotionally, physically and spiritually. The thing I actually miss most is her help around the house!

One of the most beautiful aspects of having Miss Rachael was she shared our faith. Miss Rachael was brought up in our family quite similar (but definitely different!) to my own. Her Christian walk resembled mine and her desire for God to be a living breathing part of her life is by far her greatest quality. Which also makes for a great nanny blending into a family with similar beliefs. Sharing about Jesus and teaching my children about him and how that should effect their words and actions was a natural extension of who she is. I loved it that she prayed with and for my kids, sang with them, read to them. She talked to them naturally about God and her theology was the same as ours.

Rachael has been teaching this year in a country school in a nearby country town. We miss her and the kids still talk about her. I know she’s a great teacher and is passionate about her students. Thanks Rachael for all you mean to our family!

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