Springing

There’s a man who sits on his stoop next to Dmitri’s, right on my corner of third and Catharine. He’s there every day, wearing those old school headphones that hug his ears and connect around the back of his head. When it rains he holds an umbrella; when it snows he sits in the driver’s seat of the pick up truck that’s parked right in front of his house. A stack of books a foot high rests on top of the console. He’s probably in his early forties.

I walk past him at all hours of the day, no matter if my work day starts early in the morning or late in the afternoon. He sees me ushering the boys out of the house in their karate uniforms and watches them race to their front door once they let go of my hands crossing third street. After a few months of nannying, I started waving and smiling at him. Just little nods, or a “good morning!” type exchange. Neighborly, curiously, kindly.

Two weeks ago I was offered a full-time job at a Philadelphia start up company called TicketLeap. Everything happened so quickly- I applied for the position Monday night by sending a tweet to the CEO, corresponded with him on Tuesday, interviewed Wednesday morning and was hired Wednesday night. I can fully apply my finding a job is like finding a relationship theory to the hiring process at TicketLeap. No games, no messing around. “I like you and you like me, let’s do this thing!”

After I got off the phone with TicketLeap, I burst into tears. This is what I had been waiting for for almost a year and a half. A job that matched my skill set and personality perfectly.  I moved to Philadelphia in November of 2010, worked a part-time job for a non-profit, interned for Yelp for 9 months (“It’s like we made a Yelp baby!” my boss said to me at my last event as an intern) and nannied for nearly as long. I had applied to countless jobs, went on over a dozen interviews and had a quarter-life crisis every two weeks or so because of it. My time had come. And now I had to tell the boys’ mother that I was going to leave.

I called my parents first, barely able to speak through my tears.

“I always knew you were emotional,” my dad said, “but you have to calm down. Where’s Zack?”

“Sitting next to me.”

“Is he wondering who this crazy person is he’s been living with?”

I hiccuped, then smiled. “No.”

“This is what you’ve been waiting for. Cheer up and go celebrate.”

Before we could enjoy a fancy cocktail at Southwark, I had to run down the street and tell my “family” about the job I was so excited for. At this point my face was red and puffy, especially below my right eye (you can always tell if I’ve been crying by looking at the beauty mark). I passed the guy on his stoop but barely made eye contact.

“Is everything okay?”

I stopped in my tracks. I’ve never heard the man say more than two words.

“Yeah, I just,” deep breath, “I finally got a real job and now I have to tell the boys I can’t be their nanny anymore.”

He smiled sympathetically. “Ah, I see.”

“Yeah.”

“You’ll be alright.”

I nodded.

***

This is what I will miss about nannying (in no particular order): greeting the boys as they get off the school bus, perfecting the toasted bagel with butter and cheese, M’s serious thoughts from the bathtub, A’s self-confidence, hearing A ask to be tucked in to bed, mid-day trips to the bookstore and Mama’s Vegetarian, being constantly flabbergasted by M’s level of intelligence, the look on their faces after they earn a new stripe on their karate belts, making friends with the other Queen Village moms (they don’t recognize me unless I have the boys by my side), my #nannydiaries, the fudgey brownies their mom bakes every week without fail (I will probably lose three pounds by not having one of them each day), Shabbat hugs, brushing up on my Hebrew while helping them with their homework, sleeping nine hours a night, spending my mornings at Bodhi drinking tea and writing (the one place I can truly call myself a “regular” at), catching M in the middle of a nap, introducing A to some of my favorite childrens’ authors (Judy Blume, Julie Andrews Edwards), listening to M ask questions about life, love and my relationship with Zack. He is truly the most insightful and adorable kindergartner I have ever known.

***

This is what I’m looking forward to (in no particular order): having a “regular” schedule, interacting with real adults, Tweeting for a living, planning events, working on a MacBook Pro at a desk in an office with green and brown walls in the heart of Center City, making new friends and contacts, putting everything I learned from Michelle C to good use, blogging and learning more about WordPress, using my brain and being proactive, wearing clothes other than leggings and a t-shirt, “evangelizing” the company (how many people did I convince to sign up for Yelp? I’m confident in my abilities), and finally, managing an online community. This job was made for me.

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