2020 has been an exceptional year. Tamires arrived at our home a week earlier than her scheduled arrival date after being redirected from New York when the U.S. initially went on lockdown due to COVID. To say it was a whirlwind is an understatement. I was months pregnant and our in-laws had to return to Canada because the borders were closing. Our daughter's school just shut down and my husband and I had to start working from home. When Tamires arrived at our house she brought a level of calm that I'm not sure words can justifiably describe.
Tamires became family overnight and we navigated the hard times and the joyous times that our 2020 brought us.
In the beginning, she really showed up for our 4-year-old daughter. She explored Ivy's love of theatre and performances with weekly shows and concerts for us, every Monday (concert day) I looked forward to having a ticket to a "show" slide under my office door. They spent hours painting and creating art, she made "surprise" breakfast plates for Ivy, and took our COVID baking game to the next level. When it came time for me to deliver our son, Tamires shared with Ivy that she too is a big sister and made the whole experience of Ivy becoming a big sister so special for her and memorable for us.
From a logistic standpoint, had it not been for Tamires' flexibility and willingness to go the extra mile, my husband would not have been present for the birth of our son due to COVID restrictions at the hospital. To this point, we will be forever grateful for her. Tamires washed bottles, pumping equipment, made me meals when I was too tired to do so, took my toddler out for walks and hikes so I could bond with our newborn. She quarantined with us during the newborn phase to ensure that she was safe to help with our baby. When I transitioned back to work at 12 weeks, she accompanied me on a few work trips so we could take our baby and I could run back to the hotel between meetings to nurse him.
Tamires shows up for other Aupairs. She assisted other girls from Sao Paulo through the application process and keeps in contact with them here.
She is a friend and a trusted confidant and has been key in creating a little community of au pairs from Brazil in our neighborhood.
Finally, Tamires inspires me personally. Her work ethic to show up for us and my family every single day inspires me to do the same, for my family, for my colleagues, and for the patient's I treat. I am always in awe of her ability to be present with others. She also reminds me that like her, I was once a 24 year old with big audacious dreams and ambition and not to forget myself while carrying out this hectic day-to-day lifestyle. There are so many reasons why Tamires is the ultimate Aupair, from grandiose acts of kindness and support to day-to-day patience and flexibility.
Tamires shares Brazillian culture with us all the time. Cheesy bread and brigaderios are now a household favorite! My 4-year-old lets me know what certain words are in Portuguese constantly and also runs around the house singing Portuguese songs. We love it! We celebrated Junine with Tamires this past June! On Ivy's, 4th birthday her family in Brazil made a cake and sent a video of them singing Happy Birthday in Portuguese to her! One of my favorite memories surrounding Tamire's influence on my daughter is when we were walking up a hill on a hike once and Ivy said, "Come on mom! Tamires says we exercise so we can be strong and have strong legs!".
Tamires is the type of role model I want my daughter to be surrounded by.
On one ambitious endeavor, we decided to hike down Copper Mountain in Colorado, myself with baby Eli strapped on me in an ergo carrier and Ivy promised us she'd walk the entire way down. Well, about halfway in, Ivy decided she was too tired to walk anymore. Without hesitation, she put Ivy on her shoulders and carried her the rest of the way down. I will never forget how she could just put her own needs aside to show up for Ivy in that way. There are endless examples of how she cares and loves on our now 7-month-old baby Eli. One of my favorites last week is when we were driving looking at Christmas lights and Eli was fussing and having trouble falling asleep in his carseat. Tamires leaned her head in to touch his and softly sang to him and he immediately settled and fell asleep. He lights up and smiles as soon as she walks into the room. The bond they share is a gift to our household. The moments and memories of this year are endless, she will always be a part of our 2020.
The Woodlands, Texas