Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Just One More Float in the Parade

Last night I dreamt that Frank and Al's grandmother wanted to take a Polaroid of me. When I asked her why, she opened a file, full of photos of all the nannies these kids have had, and said, "So we can remember which one you were." With each photo, there was a large note card with notes in her distinctive script, a memory for her and for the children of who was who and what each was like. And now I've been sitting here for quite some time, trying to think of some way to convey to you what it is that dream means to me, what it makes me think about, how I am torn because I want to be more than I am and more than I will be capable of being to this family.

What it comes down to is this: I wish I could stay longer. I wish I had it in me to do this job for however long they still need someone. I wish I just weren't one more nanny in the long line of nannies that they've had and will have. However, I know that's what will be. I will be another Polaroid in their memories. I will move home to Kansas City not because they no longer need me, but because it is the right choice for me, because I know that there is a limit to how long I can do this particular job. It's not all about the kids or all about the duties or all about how very far away I feel from the people I love. It is the sum of all those things being something bigger than I can manage for the long term.

And I miss home. Home not in the sense of just a city, but of how so many things that happen to be somewhere else add up to being home for me. Jarod is home to me. Cooking for myself and the people I love in my own kitchen is home to me. Jack and Mary Liz are home to me. My friends and my church are home to me. Riding the MAX to the City Market for coffee and produce shopping is home to me. Being able to relax is home to me.

I hesitate to write too much here about what I feel about being here because I fear that my employers could find it and read it and get a negative impression I don't intend to leave. I am privileged to be here, and I want to do my job well and live well while I am here. What this experience has given me, and is giving me, is incredibly valuable to me, as I hope it is to Frank and Al and their parents. To express that I want very much to go home is not meant to detract from the fact that I feel that this is where I am meant to be for this time of my life. If there were a way I could stay longer and be okay, I would do that. If there were a way I could go home tomorrow, I would do that, too.

Do you see now why this is difficult? Perhaps we should just cue up Natalie Imbruglia on my life soundtrack and let the screen fade to black.

I miss you, Kansas City.


Anonymous said...

and we miss you too, Mary!
C'mon home girl, we can't wait to see you! :)

Aimee said...

sorry...typoe...that was me

*big hugs*, Aimee

marymuses said...

I'll be home in August. That's not so far away, right? Please say, "Oh, of course, it's very soon. Very, very, very soon."

I can't wait to be there with all of y'all.