A little known fact: I have been in childcare most of my life. Growing up the oldest of 6 kids, it was pretty much all I ever did until I got into paid childcare when I graduated from high school. I took a job at the YMCA as an Instructor for the Arts, then a full time staff member at one of their school sites. I told myself, "I'll leave this job when I graduate college and get a job in the arts somewhere." But the longer I stayed at my jobs, the harder it was for me to get out. The perks were too good: it paid much better than most jobs, and I got weekends off to film, hang with my friends, perform and evenings. So I stayed. From there it was an endless cycle of private babysitting, gymnastics for kids, mommy and me classes, being a nanny and a parent companion to the mom's with Post mortem depression.
As of Thursday, April 19th, 2018...I no longer am apart of this 20+ year career.
And now A full-time student to the career I always wanted.
To be an Actor. To Be a Storyteller.
I've spent the better part of a decade being apart of other families lives, cleaning up their homes and being a regular Cinderella. I had several great experiences with families and it was a great way to be outside, get exercise and keep up to date on the latest children novels and local library puppet shows... lol... But with this relatively easy (to me) & fruitful job, came a great deal of other issues that I don't think most people, even the parents, are fully well aware of, I wasn't.
This will lead into one of the reasons I decided to move on.
About a month ago, in my neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY, two children, a 1 year old and a 4 year old lost their lives. A woman at a busy intersection, claims to have had a seizure, while stopped at red light. The mother, pregnant pushing one child, and a nanny pushing another, were struck but didn't die.
I found out about all the detail later that day but before I knew... I walked by the death scene. I saw the ambulance covering the bodies and the police directing traffic and pedestrians away from the scene as the roles of "Crime Scene" tape came out.
I walked by thinking, " I hope everything's okay".
But it clearly was not.
When I found out... I was shocked. My heart dropped and I broke out into tears over the loss of life, and as the thought of loosing the child I watched sunk in, it took me back to almost a month prior when I was hit.
Winter in New York means that nightfall is much sooner and I was going to work, practically when the sun went down. One night, no later than 6 O'Clock, I was walking though an intersection, talking and laughing with the kid I watched. There were parents in front of me, kids swinging from their arms, and the cars, still going through the crosswalk seemed to be aware of the little & big lives in front of them. So we kept going, and going, and going, but this one black car didn't look like it was going to stop. I remember thinking, "They saw all the people in the crosswalk, they have to see us."...But they didn't. Next thing I knew, I was feeling the hot front of the car, and watching as I pushed the kid as close to the sidewalk as I could, to get him FAR away from the death machine. The car hit me on my knee, and I thought "You've been hit before, just try and get the Kid out of the way, and jump up onto the car, then hold on for dear life until they stop."
I was very lucky that day.
Instead of having to get the Kid away, the woman with two children who had been crossing in front of me took hold of the Kid as his stroller toppled over to the ground, and before I could jump another woman grabbed my coat arm and pulled me with all her might out of the way. I'll give New York this... that NEVER happened to me in California.
My immediate impulse was to go to the Kid and see if he was alright. They were fine. The single woman who grabbed me asked if I was okay. At the time I was in shock and more concerned with the Kid, so I said yes. I turned to see where the car that had hit us was.... It was 5 store fronts down by this point.
As the single woman was standing there asking about my knee, the black car stopped. An older woman got out of the passenger side and when the single woman asked me "Do you want to get their information?" All I could do was yell at the elderly woman "What Happened?" The elderly woman looked panicked and ran back into the car and drove away. No one got the plates.
My knee was sore for 2 weeks. I couldn't go up the stairs without some pain for a week, couldn't go to the gym and I had a bruise the size of my fist. But I wasn't concerned about me, I was more worried about the Kid. Fortunately, he was just fine.
But what if he hadn't?
What if he and I were on the news like the 1 & 4 year olds in my neighborhood?
I hadn't thought much of my innocent until walking by the flowers and teddybears at each corner near my house. I broke down again with my family and that was when I knew.... This was the end of this journey for me. I couldn't go outside, see a car run a red light, see someone almost hit or hit, in either neighborhood and not think of the family that lost their kids, or the car that hit & run me.
I guess I'm writing this as a way to bring awareness to those not in this industry, to those in this industry who think "It'll never happen to me" and to the drivers of New York.
I know cliche' but running that light isn't worth ruining someones life.
I needed to move on from childcare, and become a full time pursuer of the arts, I know that. I want to say "It gave me the push I needed" and it did, but the cost wasn't worth that push.
Thank you for listening, to whomever reads this.
I'm a woman of all trades. Love what I do and I do what I love.