Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Help (Part 2)

   In spring of 1964 I no longer had the job of caring for my grandpa who passed away March 12 after a four months period with stroke related issues that caused him to need much special care. My mother appeared to want some time alone with my brother and little sister away from me. It seems I was running her/our home too much to my liking and influence! 
   To solve this she quietly arranged that I should have a job as an au pair girl in Quebec City. By using one of the accounting contacts through her work place, Parker Pen in Don Mills Ontario, from her company stationary letterheads she found some names and wrote to them directly. She had noticed I was keen on learning French at high school so she figured it might do me some good to be in a place where the language is actively being used. She made these plans without my knowledge until she got an offer.
   Once it came she handed a letter addressed to her from a Mr. Price who said his close friend Mr. Amyot was interested and she was to have her daughter write directly to Mr. Amyot outlining her skills with children, hobbies, ability to swim and prepare simple meals. 
   What and adventure that could be! My mom had actually tried to do something very nice. I was excited. So I did answer as requested to Mr. Amyot and I wrote it in French! I felt so proud of this new abitiy.
   Within a short time I received a reply from Mme. Amyot in English. She wanted some further information about my skills with kids around the age of 8! Ha ha that was easy! My sister was that age. I had done lots of baby sitting of younger kids and earned my badges in Girl Guides. Also I had a St. John's First Aid Certificate, swimming badges at high levels and a music certificate. I had hobbies like reading, sewing, bike riding, badminton and I even had a driving permit and had been driving for over a year taking my sister to various lessons. I wrote that in English. 
  A reply came that I was hired from mid June to late August. My duties would include helping her three children with their morning routine, preparing their breakfast and later their lunch, sitting with them to help encourage them to speak English in my presence. There would be daily times at their back yard swimming pool and some fun game times. Of course I would get some pay, $18 per week if I recall correctly plus my room and board and some time off. I was very pleased to accept.
   My time with daughter Dominique age 8, son Fran├žois age 7 and son Eric age 5 would change the direction of my life but I did not realize it till much later.

to be continued 


  1. What an intriguing story, H. I look forward to find out how it changed your life! :-)

  2. This is an interesting story so far. I look forward to hearing more. BTW, where is Part 1?

  3. I am intrigued! I went looking for Part 1 as well! What an interesting job to have! I can't wait to read the rest of the story!

  4. Dear Heidrun, You've really captured my interest with this posting. I want to know more!!! Peace.