Harriette Grant was the epitome of a Professional Nanny. Here is her story, as told by Glenda Propst in remembrance of her dear friend. This article first appeared in the June 2001 NAN newsletter and has reprinted with permission.
Harriette Grant passed away on June 30, 2002. She had been a nanny for 40 years. You can read her story in the book Like a Second Mother but here is my tribute to her life and her enormous contribution to nannies everywhere.
These are some newspaper headlines from 1961:
U.S. Breaks Off Diplomatic Relations With Cuba;
John F. Kennedy Inaugurated as President of the U.S.
Peace Corps Established by Kennedy;
UN General Assembly Condemns Apartheid;
‘Freedom Riders’ Attacked by White Citizens in Anniston and Birmingham;
Bay of Pigs Invasion;
Kennedy and Khrushchev Meet in Vienna to Discuss Disarmament;
Berlin Wall Constructed; Actor Gary Cooper Dies at Age 60.
Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein;
Catch-22, by Joseph Heller; and
Tropic of Cancer, by Henry Miller (the first legal publication in the U.S.).
Some of the popular movies that year were:
“West Side Story,”
“The Hustler,” and “Judgment at Nuremberg.”
“Love makes the World Go Round,”
“Where the Boys Are,” and “Exodus.”
Well, even if we are among those who were not yet born in1961, there was an event that in some way affected all our lives that year. This event did not make the headlines, but it changed our lives all the same.
Harriette was with the Whitmans nine years, and she maintains a close relationship with Sylvia Whitman, who is now all grown up with a child of her own.
In 1970 Harriette moved to Washington, DC, to care for the Brown children, with whom she stayed for 20 years. Even after the children were teenagers, Harriette remained and helped the Browns part time (she took a second part time job with another family in the neighborhood).
Harriette was there when one of the Brown children graduated from Princeton University, and when her other “child” graduated from High School. While she was in DC, Harriette began to get serious about solving the problems surrounding the lack of support nannies had.
Harriette Grant was one of the founders of the very first nanny support group in the USA. It was called ADCAN – the Association of DC Area Nannies. The group still runs strong today, and prides itself on being the oldest nanny support group in the nation.
NAN benefited from her vision, her professionalism, her steadfastness, her wisdom, and her commitment to the Nanny profession.
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path, and leave a trail.”
Do you know a Nanny for the ages? Do you know an outstanding nanny that should be recognized by her peers for the work she does, the professional and personal accomplishments she has achieved in her career? Many nannies are uncomfortable asking to be nominated or are unaware of the award and recognition they deserve. Individuals, agency owners/staff and nanny support groups leaders are encouraged to reach out to your nanny community and consider nominating one – or more – nannies for the 2010 INA Nanny of the Year. Nomination details are available here.
Also NEW this year is the INA Nanny of the Year Mentor Program. Past Nanny of the Year award recipients are available to work closely with Nanny of the Year nominees and those individuals who wish to nominate a nanny for the INA Nanny of the Year award.
Past Nanny of the Year award recipients have volunteered to help guide nominators and nominees through the nomination and applications process and are available to serve as a resource for those individuals considering nominating a nanny or those nannies considering accepting nomination.
Past Nanny of the Year award recipients are also available to work closely with nominees as mentors throughout the Nanny of the Year nomination and application process.