Every au pair arrives in the US about two steps into her or his adventure — with a million more steps to go.
As they make their way on their adventure, au pairs will hit a predictable set of milestones.
Some of these have to do with becoming really competent with US culture— your town, how the grocery stores work, how to talk with people.
Other milestones are kid-related, such as when they become your child’s go-to source for fun, or when the au pair and the kids develop their own in jokes.
And of course, the milestones with us Host Parents, when we feel comfortable enough to add more privileges (flexibility, autonomy, freer use of the car, more overnight guests), when we’re able to interpret what they need without them saying it, and when the kitchen just feels happier because they are around.
I imagine that each au pair has a set of milestones for him or herself— when they realize they are dreaming in English, when the barista remembers their name, when they’ve saved enough to go to Disneyland, or when they’re no longer homesick.
What kinds of milestones have you noticed for your au pairs?
Are there some moments when you’ve realized that you’re in an entirely new stage with your au pair?
Or that your au pair has changed?
Are any of these particularly poignant?
Or especially delightful?