“Christine isn’t only the perfect match for our family, she is part of our family.” —Marcy, Cultural Care host mom
When Cultural Care host parents Marcy and Drew Deresienski first interviewed their now au pair, Christine, via Skype, they worried: “Was she too young, too timid, too reserved? Would she be homesick? Would she be strong enough to tell us if something was wrong?
More than anything, would she be able to juggle our sassy 5-year-old, wild 2-year-old and preemie baby who’s just starting her 3-week NICU stay? Would she be able to handle the CRAZY that is our life right now?”
These questions weighed on them as they considered whether au pair childcare was the right fit for them—but in the end, their Swiss au pair Christine proved to be the best thing that could have ever happened for them and their family. That quietness in Christine’s initial interview turned out to be unwavering calm and confidence that has helped Christine make daily decisions for the Deresienski children that promote safety, health and happiness.
“Christine knows these children inside and out,” says Marcy. “She can tell when they are hungry or tired, cheers them up when they are sad, comforts them when they are ill. She loves them like family, and it shows in the care that she provides day in and day out.”
Marcy and Drew first realized that au pair Christine was becoming part of their family during their 2-year-old’s stomach bug. The family was trying very hard to not get sick and to not spread it to the other girls. 2-year-old Eily spent more of the day alone in her room, resting quietly. However at bedtime, Marcy and Drew could hear singing coming from Eily’s room …
“When I peeked in the door, Christine was cuddling Eily,” says Marcy. “Eily—who had been sick and sad all day—was finally smiling.”
The Deresienskis truly love learning about Swiss culture from Christine, whose traditions around the holidays were especially magical for the family. Christine explained to the family that in Switzerland, everyone sets up their Christmas trees on December 6th—and then that night, Santa Clause comes and fills each child’s shoes with mandarins, chocolate and peanuts.
“Christine surprised each one of our girls with shoes full of treats after we decorated our tree,” says Marcy. “She read them a story about the Swiss tradition, and even cooked us the same dinner her family would be eating that night—cheese fondue with pickles and potatoes. A surprisingly good combination!”
Sharing in Christine’s traditions from home helped add even more fun and anticipation to the holiday season for the children—and the whole family plans to continue celebrating the 6th of December the same way every year.
Marcy and Drew go on to fondly remember all the other ways in which Christine has made an immeasurable impact in their lives: She’s been there in times of loss and times of severe stress, from the time their pipes froze and burst flooding the dining room, to how she helped the family discover a rare and serious medical condition in their 2-year-old by studying the strange changes in her walking habits—something that would have surely been missed in a daycare.
But truth be told, for Marcy, Drew and their three daughters, it’s the little things that matter more than the big. It’s knowing that they have someone to show up for and love their girls every single day. It’s the fact that Christine is not only a “big sister” to their girls, but a “little sister” to Marcy and Drew as well.
“Christine makes our family better and our home happier.”