In the last two years I’ve surely said goodbye more than can be healthy. I said goodbye to my friends and family before I came here, goodbye to some of my Au Pair friends as they left America to go home, and goodbye to the rest of them when I moved from Chicago to San Diego. It’s been hard to say goodbye to so many people, knowing that we may not see each other again for years, but the hardest by far was saying goodbye to my host family.
Two years has gone so fast it’s almost scary. Before I arrived, I used to think about all the things I’d teach my host kids. I’ve helped them learn to read, ride their bikes, and had Tae Kwon Do lessons in the garage.
But I wasn’t prepared for how much they would teach me. I’m so much more responsible now, and I’m more able to look at the “big picture”. I now think about the kind of world that we’re leaving for the next generation, and instead of sneering at parents who can’t control their kids, I’m much more sympathetic, since I know how hard it can be when you’ve tried every trick you have and the kids still won’t listen.
I’m now able to listen to what kids aren’t saying, to figure out what’s wrong, and working as an Au Pair has allowed me to experience a different side of life-one I don’t want to experience for at least ten years, but it’s been an eye-opener all the same.
Even now it feels like I’m just on vacation, and I’ll be going back to my host family in a few days. Saying goodbye was indescribably hard (I had red eyes for two days), but at the same time I know I need to move on and experience new things. I can’t be an Au Pair forever.
One of my favorite quotes is:
We all take different paths in life, but no matter where we go, we take a little of each other everywhere.
Even though saying goodbye hurts, I’m sure I’ll see my host kids soon. And I’ll get to see them grow up, even if it’s from a distance.