Adventures in Babysitting and Saying Yes

December 9, 2015

 

 

After I graduated high school, I decided to stay home for a couple years and attend community college. I wasn't really ready to move out and I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, so it was the best decision for me. The summer before my first semester at college, my aunt asked if I'd want to watch my two little cousins a few days a week after they got home from school.  I did not want to do this. At all.

 

Babysitting hadn't ever been a thing I liked to do. I know it's something teenagers do all the time to make easy money. But to me, it's always seemed terrifying. Now I'm the first to admit that I'm a worrier and a pretty huge over thinker. But, you're in charge of people's children! That's kind of a big deal. Sure you just play games and entertain them until their parents get back, but you're in charge of the most important thing in these people's lives. That's scary! So I'd avoided it. But, when I told my parents I would not be watching my cousins they let me know it was either that or get a real job. So that's how I became a nanny.

 

On my first day my cousin, Maggie, asked me to make her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich as an after school snack. I'd made them tons of times obviously, so no problem.  She then told me she doesn't like crust so to make sure to take that off. I proceeded to use my fingers to try and peel the crust off that bread perfectly. And it took me a long time. Maggie finally came into the kitchen to see what could possibly be taking so long and when she saw me finishing up peeling the crust off she laughed and said "You know you could have just used a knife."

 

So I became a nanny for the next two years. I made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and took the crust off sloppily with a knife, I dealt with fights between my cousins, meltdowns

 

when I couldn't figure out what was wrong because all they did was cry. I played board games, watched fashion shows, and found plays online that we acted out. And it was amazing.

 

I created a bond with my cousins that's unlike any I've ever had. I learned that I can trust myself. I learned to make sure to always supervise in the kitchen even if they're just making easy mac, something they've done tons of times before. Because even though they've done it doesn't mean they won't forget to put the water in the container before they proceed to microwave it and almost set the house on fire. I learned a lot in those two years, and I'll always be grateful that my aunt asked me to do it, and that I said yes.

 

My aunt passed away a couple of years later. It was devastating. It still is devastating. I'll always be grateful for her for a lot of things, but the most important one will always be that she asked me to watch those two girls. Because that special bond I'd formed with them in those two years became more important than ever.  They're more like my sisters than my cousins, and now I'm there to help Maggie with her homework and to keep her from getting too frustrated by it. And to sit down and talk with Olivia when she's having a terrible day. I also get to see them do things that remind me of her all the time. Like how stubborn Olivia can be, but also how crazy intelligent she is. And Maggie's sense of humor and sassy attitude. I can see all the time how much like her they are, and it makes me so happy that I said yes back then.

 

So what's the point of this story of my babysitting adventures? It's to say yes to things that scare you. Whether it's something as small as babysitting or as huge as moving to a new place. These things are scary, believe me, I know. But they'll always be so worth it. You'll learn a lot about yourself and other people, and you may end up gaining something really important. I did. So say yes. Even if it's terrifying. Even if you're pretty confident that you won't be able to do it. I promise you can, and I really believe that you should.   

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