When Rada was 3 years old, I spent most of my free time on the playground. Rada craved fresh air, wide-open spaces, and the opportunity to play with other kids.
There were several parks we would frequent, and we got used to seeing familiar faces. Often, in the late afternoons, the children would be accompanied by their nannies or babysitters. The nannies would sit on the park benches chit-chatting while the children played. That is, all the nannies except one.
There was one young woman who tirelessly played wonderful, imaginative, games with her charges. Rada would often get interested in the games, and she’d be invited to join in. And I would find myself involved in the activity, too. I learned alot from observing how this nanny/babysitter involved the children in dramatic play and how she handled conflict between the kids.
I eventually met one of the parents who had hired this nanny and the mom could not say enough nice things about her. Since the family was preparing to move out of town, I decided, then and there, to find out if the nanny/babysitter was available for occasional evenings with my daughter.
She was. And the first time she came over, Rada jumped up and down with joy. “Rati!” she exclaimed. And from then until now, Rada and Rati have had their own special relationship which has endured over 3 years. I feel very lucky to have such a responsible and creative person looking after Rada.
Rati grew up in Nepal, and has not been home in 5 years. Today she has an appointment at INS to see if she qualifies for a green card. With a green card, she can enter and leave the country with confidence that her papers will not be questioned.
No matter how you feel about immigration, rest assured that this young person is everything that you want to see in this country. If you can send some good thoughts her way at about 1:30 this afternoon, I know she would appreciate it. And I would, too
Good luck, Rati.