Monday, June 8, 2015

Touched by a Nanny: Clelie Bourne

Submission by Cindy Wilkinson

     Clelie Bourne is a long-time newborn care specialist, one of the pioneers in this area of the nanny profession.   She has cared for newborns, often those from multiple births, for over two decades.

     As with most of my nanny friends and colleagues, I first met Clelie at a nanny conference.  Being that she is from the state of Kentucky, I was instantly drawn to her warmth and openness; it’s a part of her southern charm that defines her no-nonsense, yet caring personality.

     Over the years, Clelie has become one of my most influential mentors.  During a past job search of mine, I was considering a move to her home base of Lexington, KY.  Via a couple of phone calls, she shared with me everything I was curious about in her neck of the woods, painting an elaborate picture for me of that part of the country.  

     Clelie and I have always had a “just call me with any question” kind of relationship.  Whether it was a specific question about infant care or my need for a listening ear to work through a more complex issue, she has always served me as a most trusted sounding board.  I appreciate her direct and honest approach. Sometimes I have found her guiding me to a conclusion I have known in my heart all along, as only a close friend and someone who truly knows you well can do. 

     I will end these accolades of my friend Clelie with one of my more memorable International Nanny Association Conference stories.  Years ago, I suddenly found myself homeless at our hotel in Dallas.  My INA conference roommate had greeted me at our door that her husband would soon be arriving to share our hotel room with her… a last minute decision.  As I wandered the halls of the hotel at 11:00 PM, teary eyed and with suitcases in hand, I came across Clelie and her roommates, Janine Gardner and MaryAnn Meddish.  Without any hesitation, they reassured me that they could make room for me in their room and took me in.  My problem was quickly solved by this act of generosity and TLC, an act I have always greatly appreciated and never forgotten.  We have often laughed at the various scenarios I might have faced, had they not rescued me that night!

     Our mentors will serve us in many different ways.  Clelie Bourne has provided me a trusted confidante.  She is someone who I can bounce off new ideas and always get an honest response; she is someone who will keep any of my concerns in strictest confidence.   And, above all else, she is a most loyal friend.   These are the mentors who will impact our lives the most: those who provide us with wisdom, support, and lasting friendships.  Thank-you Clelie!

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