Being thankful for the little moments in life
My name is Nicole, I'm an occupational therapist from Germany and live with my wonderful host family in Boston. Two girls of five and a boy with special needs who is eleven years old. My life changed in the last few weeks as our relationship grew more and more. Now I feel like a fully integrated member of the family, which is a very rewarding feeling and so important to me. That's why I felt Thanksgiving was the best moment to say „thank you“.
On November the 27th Thanksgiving started and I felt so excited because of the importance of this holiday in the U.S. I didn't expect too much. I only wanted to spend a stress-free time at home, showing my thankfullness and being together with the family and friends. And of course to eat my first turkey.
The first difference I noticed was the greeting in the morning. Instead of the normal „good morning“ we greeted each other with „Happy Thanksgiving“. The kids were playing so the first preparations could start. My host-mum asked me if I would like to remove the giblets out oft the turkey. I was not sure if I could handle it to reach my hand inside the turkey, but I did it with a somewhat disgusted face. We all laughed about it and I was happy to leave that part behind me and focused on baking cookies for desert. After a while I felt the excitement of the kids so that I decided to take them out for swimming. On the way I asked for what everybody is thankful for. First it was quiet, no answers. After a short moment of thoughtfulness the kids started to tell everything they are thankful for:
„I'm thankful for mummy and daddy“,
„I'm thankful for the snow“,
„I'm thankful for the school“,
„I'm thankful for the swimming pool“
„I'm thankful for you“...
I was impressed. As we arrived back home, hungry, happy and a little bit tired, friends of the family had arrived and everybody helped to prepare the dinner. The delicious smell of the turkey filled the whole house soon and the kids couldn't wait to eat.
A friend of mine, another au pair, also came to visit. We both spent time with the kids, played a long game and shared our excitment. As we came back in the dining room, the table was nicely set with flowers, a pleasantly quiet music played in the background and the food was served and ready to eat. We sat down, clinked our glasses and said „THANK YOU“ for being together and the gorgeous meal. One of the girls told that she is thankful for everyone who is here today. I already knew that I would not find the right words in English so I had prepared a card for my hostparents. We took our time to enjoy the atmosphere and ended the day with warm hugs and a full belly.
Now I can say that Thanksgiving is one of the quietest, calmest and best days of the year. It is all about being and cooking together with people you love. Being thankful for the little moments in life.
It was my best decision in life to become a professional au pair in the US. Becoming part of my loving hostfamily enabled me to develop my skills and personality as well as the skills of the beautiful boy and gorgeous girls I'm looking after.