Waking up every morning with three little triplet boys hugging and asking me with an angel voice: “Can we play now Jacqueline? Please!” This is how my day started with a big smile in my face, each and every day, for a year and a half.

It didn’t matter whether I was scheduled five or ten hours a day. What mattered most was to see the boys happy! Every Thursday morning they woke up to see the trash dumpy. We went outside at around 6 am with blankets and were just staring at the barrels. Of course it was really early in the morning, but what could be more wonderful than seeing them smiling because of a trash dumpy?

We also spent every single moment of the day outside: at the beach, the park, the pool. It was really important for me to have our “circle time“, every evening where we discussed what to do the next day to take their wishes into consideration. Taking care of triplet boys not just made me a better and more responsible person, it opened my eyes in many ways, especially how much my mom has done for me at home these past 22 years. My host mom works all day long but still always comes back home with so much energy for her kids. My host dad as well. Both of them made me realize how important family and love in life is. Every single day I was treated like a part of the family; a daughter. We were working together as a team, always talking about new rules for the boys or giving tips and feedback.
Because of them, I started to get a passion for running. My first race was a 10k on the 4th of July, another half marathon and then a full marathon. One of the most special things was that I always had the family by my side. Our goal was to get to the finish line by supporting each other and having fun at the same time! I never thought I could run 26 miles without stopping, until everyone gave me so much support, strength and believed in me.

Celebrating my first Thanksgiving with the entire family and friends, preparing the turkey, doing arts and crafts and spending time together was my favorite holiday. Because we don´t celebrate it in Germany, I made it a new tradition to celebrate as well!
If there’s one thing I learned in my year as an Au pair is the following quote my host parents wrote down in a book as a birthday gift: “Always reach for your dreams! Never give up! As long as you believe, you can accomplish anything!” This and the entire experience influenced my life so much; especially the fact that I was given a new family in my life.

Last year I visited them for a month and it felt like I never left. I felt like I was home. Will I visit them this year again? I already know the answer; but let’s keep it as a surprise!

It’s impossible to write everything down in a short essay, but what I can say is: “I love my host family with all my heart and will always be thankful for them and Expert Au pair!”