I am have always been a relationship builder. Developing strong reliable, and caring relationships and pouring into people's lives is at the core of who I am and how I want to live my life. While I actively learned how to form strong bonds with peers and adults growing up, I never knew I would eventually be on a path toward wanting to build those relationships specifically with children and youth. At least, not until the summer I worked at a houseboat camp!
Let's just say relationships develop quickly and powerfully when you are living on a boat with fifteen or more people in the middle of a river for a week. Of course, everyone was there for the experience, but there was something so different, intimate, and unique about the interactions between counselors and campers while sharing a small space and floating on the water. Each week I got to befriend, serve, mentor, and have lots of fun with amazing kids from all over the country—and it was the best time. By the end of the week, without fail, I had the same realization that time with youth is time well spent.
Since that summer I have loved working alongside families and kids as a babysitter, mentor, and teacher, and getting to build relationships with both the kids and the parents. What was special about being a Kindergarten teacher was not only the sweet opportunity to daily interact with my intelligent and hilarious students, but also getting to know their parents well enough to truly partner with them for the schooling portion of their children's lives. From toddler groups to teenagers, from California to Hong Kong, I have been very fortunate to work with and encourage kids of all ages and background and treat every diverse experience as a chance to grow as a person and advocate for the young.
I am someone who naturally enjoys helping families operate, being present and available to support them in whatever capacity, and learning what makes every child his or her individual self. I spend time thinking about conversations, activities, and experiences that will help them grow and I enjoy finding fun and new alternatives to the normal. In every relationship with a child, I believe establishing trust, dependability, and security are of utmost importance, and I also believe they need safe but free, practical but creative environments in order to thrive. I think there is time for laughter and fun, for seriousness and sadness, and always time for thoughtfulness and understanding. I think kids intuitively know when to be all these things and just need loving and patient adults to guide them on the path to personhood and development. That is what I love doing and what I hope to continue doing as a nanny!