On my second to last night in Germany it will surprise no one to learn that I am both incredibly happy and a wee bit sad. I am thrilled to be going to my family and friends, to a language that doesn’t trip me up every time I want to use a preposition, to the potential for a legitimate “big-girl” job, to a place that feels like home. But, on the flip side, I will miss Germany very much. In the last six months I have grown very fond of the bakeries, the bread, the trains, cobblestone streets and, of course, the family that I work for. I will miss the children most especially and, after dedicating half a year of my life to their care, it’s difficult to realize that I will no longer being seeing them every day.
So, in honor of the three children who I have come to truly adore, I would like to post a list entitled “10 Things I Learned as an Au Pair.” It’s a little funny, a little serious and a lot true.
1. Baby laughter can make even the worst day sunnier.
2. “No (Nein)” and “Mine (Mein)” are a two-year-old’s favorite words in any country and any language.
3. It’s a lot harder to explain the English language than it is to speak it.
4. “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” can stop a flood of tears in an instant.
5. There is nothing that will melt your heart like having a baby fall asleep in your arms.
6. Kids can bite really hard considering how small they are.
7. Being silly is an important part of life.
8. It really is possible to read a book so many times that you memorize it—even in a foreign language! (“Huhuhu!” weint der kleine Hase, “Mein Ball ist weg, mein schoner bunter Ball.” … and so on and so forth)
9. Dance parties in the living room are good for the soul
10. Patience really is a virtue. Really. It is.
It may not be a list worthy of Letterman, but it ranks pretty high in my book...