woman pushing strollerWould your caregiver throw herself into the path of an oncoming pick-up truck to save your child's life? That's what Jennifer Anton did when a drunk driver was headed straight towards 20-month-old Tyler Jones' stroller. Anton pushed the stroller out of the way and took the hit herself, saving the toddler's life and sustaining seriously horrific injuries in the process. Essentially all of 25-year-old Anton's bones below the waist were shattered.

Seven people in total were hospitalized after 61-year-old Chicago Streets and Sanitation worker Dwight Washington veered off the road and into a group of pedestrians, a bottle of brandy on the seat next to him. Washington has been charged with four counts of felony aggravated driving under the influence and is being sued on the behalf of Anton and the child. Tyler's dad is calling Anton an "angel on this earth," an assessment that sounds pretty accurate to me.

It's hard to think about our caregivers as the people we might need to perform heroic feats for the sake of our kids (it's frankly way easier to get through a day of work imagining your nanny and child spending a lovely, uneventful day at the playground), but of course we desperately want that level of dedication. So if you've got an earth-angel minding your little one, treat her (or him, in the case of a manny) like what she is: A part of the family. (Actually no, be nicer to her than if she were really a family member.)

Yes, sometimes her demands might seem unfair (I know some people whose caregivers get more time off with pay than they do), and yes, sometimes she's going to do things that drive you nuts like let the afternoon nap go an hour past schedule (good luck at bedtime!) or allow 30 minutes more TV time than you would like. But if she's a responsible person who truly cares about your kid, annoyances like that are worth overlooking. It's harder to find somebody who'd risk their life for your child than it is to find somebody who'll stick to the "one episode of Dora the Explorer per day only" rule.

In the end, what really matters is having a caregiver who loves our kid almost as much as we do. And if you're lucky enough to have that, I suggest buying her some chocolates or flowers on your way home today.

What do you think of this story? Do you have an amazing caregiver who would do the same?

 

Image via Ed Yourdon/Flickr