As we near the one-year anniversary of when our beloved nanny, Susu (or Nanna Susu as Hayes will call her) started, I can't help but reflect on how darn lucky we were to have found her.
When I was on maternity leave, one of my biggest concerns (understandably) was finding the person who would be taking care of our son when I went back to work. I had quite a lengthy maternity leave (thank you, Chiat!) but it was something that I wanted to check off my to do list pretty early on so I could relax and enjoy the rest of my limited time with Hayes.
We interviewed one nanny who didn't wow either of us (and her referral, who had to pause and think about the answer to Grant's question of whether she would have hired Wendy again, wowed us even less!) so I decided to send out a public email at my company to see if anyone knew of a good nanny who was looking for work. A guy who I've never met (my company has 700+ people so that's not unusual) responded that his nanny was going to be available starting the beginning of August as his youngest son was going to pre-school. I called his wife, Anna - the referral - and she could not have said anything nicer about this middle aged Iranian woman they called 'Susu', who had really become a part of their family.
The part of our conversation that stuck with me the most was when Anna told me that more so than a nanny, Susu was just a good person. She recalled a time when her parents were visiting and when her dad had fallen asleep on the couch, Susu crept into the family room and placed a blanket over him so he wouldn't get cold. That's exactly the type of person I want to have in my family, I thought to myself. I had to have her.
Susu is unique, to say the least. She is a flamboyant, strong-willed Persian woman who lives in Beverly Hills with her grown daughter and has had every job under the sun. I'm talking everything people - limo driver, chocolatier, florist, hair stylist... You name it, she's had experience in it. She truly spoils Grant, Hayes and me, cooking and cleaning for us and taking amazing care of our boy. At Christmas, she wrapped all of Grant's presents for him. She cooked our brisket for Hannakuh dinner with Grant's family (and got a nod of approval from Grant's very Jewish grandmother!). She makes our bed every morning and washes Hayes tushy in the sink in lieu of using wipes because she knows it's ultimately better for his skin. In one word, she is AMAZING. I honestly don't know what we would do without her.
I came across this NY Times article about the dichotomy between mothers and nannies and after reading it, found myself feeling quite emotional about the way I feel about Susu. Sure, there are times she drives me crazy and I wish she would listen to me a bit more and maybe not have so much of her own opinion. But truth be told, she is rarely wrong about things and at the end of the day, Hayes is a happy baby who loves his Nanna Susu. She is so much more than a nanny to us; she is like a second mother to our baby boy and her influence will largely shape the kind of person he will become. You can't put a price on that..
At the end of the article, the author writes "I attended a wedding a few years ago. The nanny who stayed with the family for years stood next to the two parents (by then long divorced) for the marriage of the girl they had all raised." I hope we're lucky enough to have Susu in our lives as Hayes gets older, maybe not as a nanny for the rest of his life, but as another member of our family...