Today I am Warden

The Story

Oh, yes, hello! I’m Jamie. Mrs. Teage, right? Lovely to meet you. Sure, sure, I have a table over there already, actually.

Familiar? No, I‘m sure I just have one of those faces.

Yes, I’m sure. Would you like anything? I ordered a caramel macchiato, very sweet, I’d recommend it.

Oh, okay.

Well yes, I’m from Michigan, you may tell from my accent. Oh, never? Well it’s lovely. I do miss it sometimes, though it is nice to be a bit warmer!

Resume, yes. Here, I brought a clean copy. Or… was clean. Could you pass me a napkin? Anyway! I’ve been a nanny for about seven years now, I started for a professor of mine my junior year of college, then just continued through grad school- a little extra in the bank and I love the kids, you know?

A young boy and a pre-teen girl. Precious. The best.

Yes, they were very active. She did dance and volleyball, he was just getting started on karate- a little ninja in the making, haha! I went to all the practices and games. Never know when they’ll need me! So I was always there just in case.

Well they were artistic too. They get that from me, I think. Here are some of the cute little drawings they sent me during the trial, so cute, right? Phew, I guess they’re older now but I keep all of these little scribbles close- it’s like still having the little sweets around!

I’m sorry? Oh the, um, the trial. It was a minor hiccup, a misunderstanding, but of course everything feels minor when you’re in grad school, right? You’re still doing homework, but they expect you to do a full time job on top of it! Crazy!

Oh, yes, reference letters. This one is from a friend, a character-witness you might say! And then an old teacher, and- hm?

Well, I suppose the parental relationship with my last family did not end as amiably.

She just didn’t like that her kids ended up enjoying their time with me more than with her. But she was gone a lot. Even the kids noticed their old mommy was gone more than their classmates’ moms. I mean- that’s when it’s time for a nanny! Haha, but she was gone a lot so I spent most of my time there. A few nights whenever she had to leave town as well. Made getting homework done a little hard, but anything for my babies.

Oh not to worry. I’m done with school now, so that work won’t get in the way.

No, not finished. Just, done. I had to leave and come here! “New start, new city!” as I’m sure you saw on my site.

Just from school. And the trial, oh that unnecessary headache.

It was just a little thing. A hiccup. A misunderstanding, as most are, I think.

Really? Um. Well. The wife, she was very dismayed one night. Her jealousy got the best of her, I think.

Well, she came home, quite late, and became upset that I was still there, which was just so silly since she asked me to put the kids to bed.

Well her husband had gotten home about an hour earlier. But he was tired so I stayed and cooked dinner and put my boy to bed. I was chopping veggies for the kids’ lunch boxes, helping Am- helping the girl with her homework when the wife walked in. She stared at me silently for a long time, odd woman, but I just kept chop, chopping away! Then she just- broke!

I mean, it was like her sanity just ruptured! And goodness, that woman could scream. Started marching about the kitchen, jabbing her finger in my chest. I thought she was going to yell forever, with the girl right there close to tears and the boy trying to sleep! I asked her several times to lower her voice, but she just wouldn’t and with my instincts about the children- I couldn’t help but think of them! I had to protect them from this lunacy! So I told her what-for and jabbed her in the chest right back, told her that was no way a lady ought to behave.

If only I’d put the knife down first, I’d still be with my precious little angels. How old are yours, again?

The Word

Warden (noun): 1. A person responsible for the supervision of a particular place or thing or for ensuring that regulations associated with it are obeyed. 2. A churchwarden. 3. The head of certain schools, colleges, or other institution.

Sooo which side are you on? Is Jaime or the mom/wife the crazy one? Let me know what you think! (Really, love to hear from y’all, so find me here anytime!)

I chose Warden today because due to some reorg happening at work, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be in charge of people who are older/younger, more/less experienced that you, and what it means to be in a position like that. No matter what flavor of leader you are (boss, nanny, teacher, etc.) you do end up kind of like a warden. You are both protector and punisher. And perhaps that sounds a little bit dramatic, but think about the leaders around you that have accepted their titles- are they not some sort of responsible for you? Or visa versa- as a leader, do you not feel that it is your job to ensure good work as well as the safety of those that answer to you? Just something to think on as we go about our daily leading and following.

P.S. No, I was not a babysitter or a nanny. Tried one time when I was a high school freshman- the girls cried ’cause I wouldn’t let them paint on their bedroom walls and the boys escaped out a window to tear down a 12-foot jungle gym. After that, I decided my after-school time was probably better spent elsewhere. 🙂