The girl I looked after when I first moved to Germany has just finished school. Not for good – she’s going back after the summer to do the German equivalent of A-Levels – but the compulsory part.
When I first met her she’d just turned 6, and wasn’t due to start school for almost a year. Now, she’s almost 17 and ready to spend the summer celebrating before heading back to get yet more certificates to line her walls or stuff under her
belt bed or whatever people do with them these days.
I feel so old! 😉
I regret missing big chunks of her growing up (distance mainly, and time. Germany’s a big country and I have chronic time-deficiency) but I’m glad we’re still in touch, almost 11 years on.
I look at the stream of photos that cone my way and have to smile. Her parents say I influenced her fashion sense and her ability to do her own thing regardless of what other people say. I only wish it were true! I was never that well dressed, and I have probably 20% of her self-respect and determination, but even if I served as a negative example (which I’m certain isn’t what they were implying), I’m happy to have played a part in her life, even a small one. My life’s certainly better for it.
She’s such an amazing kid, woman I suppose I should say now, and I am so proud to know her, despite all the difficulties we had at the beginning.
She’s had (and has) her share of things go wrong one way or another (who hasn’t?), as well as lots of things go right. She picks her own battles and fights her way through them, and still cares enough to go back and pick up the pieces afterwards.
Here’s to an awesome future, dearest Ex-AuPair-daughter! 🙂