On my way into the hospital yesterday I looked over and saw a handsome young man heading out of the parking garage and said, "Well what do you know!" There was Joseph and his sweet Mama Julie. Joseph has Spina Bifida and visits Shriners for clinic appointments. Julie was Casey's daycare provider from the time he was one-years-old, till almost two-years-old which was over nine years ago. Julie stepped into my life at a time when I was desperate for help. We had to pull Casey out of his home daycare that he had been in since 12-weeeks old. He was exhibiting signs of stress. He didn't want to be put in a highchair or be changed ever. I just knew that he was kept in the highchair and crib for too long, and when he wanted out, she was too busy with other kids. Casey was not happy so I was not happy and nobody is happy when Mama isn't happy, right? After we pulled him out of that daycare, I tried to share child care responsibility with a neighbor. She had a little boy Casey's age and another boy about four. I would watch her boys one day a week and she would watch mine. But being a new Mom to only one baby, I had no idea what I was doing with a four-year-old and caring for two, one-year-old's. I dreaded Friday's. I was miserable. What the hell was I thinking?? That is when Pedar's Mom told me to call her neighbor Julie. She knew that Julie was home with Joseph and might want to make some money watching Casey.
So I called Julie and she said, "Let's try it!" We did and it was wonderful. Julie watched Casey three days a week and I worked one day from home. It was a great set-up. When Casey was 18 months old the powers-that-be at EDFUND said that employees could not work from home anymore, and I would have to work 5 days a week. Sigh. So, we enrolled him at Village Montessori and he was there until Kindergarten.
I loved being connected to Julie and her family. Joseph was born with Spina Bifida and cannot walk. Casey loved pushing him in his wheelchair and playing in the nature area in the neighborhood. Joseph and Casey formed a unique bond, he was Casey's first real friend. I was so incredibly grateful to have Julie watching Casey. She is so kind, patient and FUN! She is just who you would want caring for your baby. Watching Julie care for Joseph and her two daughters taught me so much as a new Mom. Life wasn't going to be easy, you have to just keep moving forward. I hope that I showed Julie and her family as much love and kindness as she gave to Casey. Knowing that he was safe and happy allowed me to work and take care of my family, and in return I was able to help her take care of hers a little bit too. We are all in this together.