“Some of the best things in life come in the smallest packages.”
Aoife Brie was this small package that made my summer better than I could have ever expected.
When my first job didn’t work out, I was sent looking for a job in the middle of the summer—who’s going to hire someone for only two months? Well, it just so happened that a young family was coming to stay in my town for just two months of the summer and they were looking for a nanny for their adorable little girl. I had the joy of being that nanny, and I couldn’t have picked a better summer job.
I nanny during the school year, but nannying during the summer is an entirely different story. Each day was a new adventure—the possibilities of things we could do were endless. Aoife is only two-and-a-half years old, but boy was she entertaining.
We were two peas in a pod all summer long. Endless days spent at the beach, sitting at every coffee shop in town while I drank my coffee and she drank her water (which she thought was coffee), pool days spent acting like “fishies” and jumping until we were too tired to jump anymore, playing at every park we could find, going to the library until being quiet was too much, and whatever else we found to fill our time.
Our favorite thing to do, though, was go to the Lake Geneva Farmer’s Market, which happened to be every Thursday morning. We would walk to each of the stands, say hi to all of the farmers, pick out the prettiest flowers for her Nana, get two berry lemonades, and of course, she had to get a mini pie or a cookie, which she happened to touch, meaning we had to buy it. Neither of us quite cared much, who doesn’t love a little morning treat?
For only being two-and-a-half, she was one smart little girl. She would ask me how my day was, tell me exactly how she was feeling that day and what outfit she wanted to wear. She always reminded me that she needed sunscreen, especially on her face, so she wouldn’t get burnt. She always knew the perfect shoes to match her outfit, and would say, “you can do it, I know you can,” when I would struggle to put them on. She would hold my pinky when we crossed the street if I had something in both hands, and would kneel down on the sidewalk when she needed a “rest break.” My favorite thing of all, though, was when she would tell me she wanted to swim alone, and when I’d swim away, she’d yell, “no wait, come back, I actually like when you swim by me.”
This summer, I spent my time enjoying the simple things, like a single flower picked off of a flower bush, or playing in the sand at the park and even long car rides spent listening to an endless country playlist that Aoife asked for every time. I was able to truly sit back and enjoy the company of a little girl who didn’t have a worry in the world.
Even as I’m writing this article, I’m watching her entertain herself by going down a park slide over and over and over again, never getting bored. I so badly wish we could all return to that kind of simple life, where the littlest things bring us joy. I wish that we didn’t let life tear us down and that we could enjoy every new experience like a 2-year-old.
Today was my last day being Aoife’s nanny, and I can easily say I will miss her more than any other summer job I’ve ever had.
I think that I needed this summer with Aoife more than she ever needed me, and I’m so thankful for the short amount of time I had to spend with her. She taught me so much, but one thing for sure is to not take life too seriously, it’s just not worth it.