April 0.5 - When Disappointments Become Blessings
A week and a half ago, my nanny quit. She gave us just a two-day notice. I was disappointed. It meant devoting a decent amount of time to phone calls, interviews and second guessing as I try to find a replacement. It meant Tobe losing another friend/caretaker. It meant leaving Tobe with yet another stranger, another new nanny, hoping they are good as their profile picture and references. I was leaving for a conference in Boston in a few days, so whoever we hired, would have to meet with just my husband. I was not even going to know, before hand, the caretaker for my son. I was devastated.
But this was our only option. We don't have family close to us to serve as emergency baby sitters. My husband usually stays home from work in situations like this but he also was going through some changes at work and could not take time off. So I began my search. I put up an online ad and started the calls and interviews. The first person I interviewed, (lets call her Sarah), was great. Weirdly, she was from Boston. She sounded like a great fit for our family but was out of our price range so I kept interviewing. By Saturday night, I still hadn't found anyone I liked to begin work on Tuesday. So I called Sarah back. She agreed to do a video interview. We loved her. She was so thorough and professional. And we were able to work out a fee that was not too far off our budget.
After hiring Sarah, I felt better leaving for my trip. I was able to video call Tobe to see that he was happy with her. She sent me pictures. Turns out she is so much better than our previous nanny. She teaches him more, interacts with him, and isn't as careless as our previous nanny. Having a better nanny helped me see the flaws in my previous one. I now realize that her quitting was a blessing and for that, I am thankful. This was a great example of how bad situations can be opportunities of growth and improvement. Although sometimes difficult to navigate, tough experiences often bring personal enrichment. I think knowing this is encouraging. Keep doing your best and the pieces will fall into place.
So this was the biggest lesson I learned this past two weeks.
I got to learn it twice. I didn't like that.
My trip to Boston was difficult. My flight out of Grand Rapids was delayed, I was placed on an alternate route with a layover in Chicago. My flight to Chicago made it on time but couldn't get a gate to disembark so we had to wait in the airplane for 90 minutes. By the time they let us out, my flight to Boston already left so I had to spend the night on a cot in the Chicago airport. It was a rough night. The airline did not provide a hotel because it claimed the delay was weather related. Spending the night at the airport resulted in me missing a half day of my three day course. I was very disappointed.
To pass the time at the airport, I surfed the internet. Here, I stumbled upon the biography of Dr. Vivien Thomas. He played an important part in the development of the Blalock-Thomas-Taussig shunt, a surgical procedure to treat cyanotic heart disease. As a medical student, I had learned about his contribution to the field of cardiac surgery but I never knew anything else about his life. I didn't even know his race. During my stay at the airport, I read about his incredible life story; about how he was a self taught surgeon. He never went to medical school! He intended to but couldn't due to life's multiple disappointments. He continued to work hard, he got a job as a lab assistant and was exceptional in his work with Dr. Blalock in developing that procedure. As an African American in that time period, he had enough challenges but he excelled despite all of it. He was eventually awarded a doctorate by Johns Hopkins. He is truly someone who defiled the odds by working hard.
His story made my night at the airport seem miniscule. I got to Boston the following day and went straight to my conference with my suitcase. I spent some extra time studying that night and was able to catch up. Now, I am glad I stayed that night at the airport, because of it I gained a new role model, a source of inspiration.
I got back from Boston on Thursday. I was able to meet Sarah on Friday before I left for work. On Saturday I went to Detroit for a conference and Sunday (yesterday) I spent the day with my family. It's been a crazy two weeks but filled with adventure and growth. I am glad to be back home with my husband and son. We've had a couple of warm sunny spring-like days.