If the facebook genie would grant me one friend request I know exactly who I would wish to find! 23 years ago I spent a magical two weeks with an adorable boy name Franklin, at his parents elite Old Town Alexandria townhome. These folks went furniture shopping in Europe, and car shopping in Sweden. They matched their placemats to their food ("Which one of these goes best with chicken? The checkered or the damask?") They were O L D M O N E Y and they wanted ME to move in with their son!
I would love to find out what happened to Franklin not only because of the bright future and high expectations his family demanded of him and would surely provide for him, and not only because our parting was so heartbreakingly unexpected and emotional...but because...he was only six months old the last time I saw him.
I was a nanny. Franklin's nanny.
Franklin Black was the son of Elise Black and Mr. Black? I can't remember his name. Just that he was the economic editor of US News and World Report at the time and his wife was a lawyer for the United States Justice Department. (She used to work with Rex E. Lee) They were both raised by "white gloved nannies", had graduated from Ivy League schools, traveled the world, loved Linda Rodstadt, and by age 40 had decided that they owned everything in the world they could ever want except one thing...an offspring.
That's where I come into the picture. My mother wrote an elegant cover letter to accompany my resume and they fell in love with me instantly. Well...they fell in love with my mother. Who wouldn't...I'd pay her to raise my kids too.
Anyway...my first night there, sharing a penthouse suite with little Franklin's nursery, I fluffed up my pillow and sat up in bed to write in my journal when C R A S H! The 150 year old antique bed that they had set me up with, falls apart. To their credit, they were more worried about my safety than the furniture. But perhaps the most memorable part of the evening for me was the look on their faces when they saw what I wore to bed. Let's just say...NOT satin jammie tops and bottoms. More like...white trash reject something or others.
I did become extremely homesick extremely fast. Mostly because I was in culture shock and had no way to relate to the posh surroundings or foreign childcare theories that were being thrust upon me. Franklin's toys came with instruction manuals so that I could introduce the right toys to him in the right order so his brain would function at genius level. I had to play Spanish lessons during his morning nap and German lessons during his afternoon. I had to sterilize his toys on a weekly basis, dispose of every diaper in a zip lock bag before throwing it out. I had to boil everything that I used to prepare his bottles, including the tongs, funnels, can opener, and the top of the cans themselves. I had to check the air quality report before taking him on his morning stroll. But the most baffling thing was...I was not to nap while he was napping.
That was difficult because several times a week I would go out at night with the other nannies and young single adults in the area and stay out usually until 1am. Mr. and Mrs. Black did not like this either. It made them worry about my safety. Bless their hearts.
So, two weeks into the deal...I guess they got sick of hearing me cry in the shower every morning, and of my staying out late at night because they fired me. I got a healthy severance package so I moved in with another nanny whose employers were on a two week cruise. I looked for another nanny job and played around the greater DC area. But in the end I caught a flight home and found a nanny job there, where I could live at home and stay out as late as I wanted to without my boss ever knowing. So whatever happened to Franklin? Did they find another nanny, like a professional nanny from England? Did they tell her horror stories about me? Did Franklin meet all his parents expectations or is he in prison somewhere? Facebook.....the ball is now in your court!