I’m a babysitter. I like to title myself “nanny” because it sounds a lot more professional. Let me tell you something about watching someone else’s kids. It’s tough work. It’s ironic that it’s so tough because this job is given out to teenagers who barely know how to discipline themselves like t-shirt cannons at a baseball game. Okay it’s like that but the payment is money instead of a t-shirt. Let’s take a moment and fantasize about money canons. Yeah, I’d like a wad of money shot at me at a baseball game. Heck, anywhere. That would be the one time I would be cool with staring down a barrel of a gun. Money always changes the game.
Right, so babysitting is tough work. It’s rough. It’s a roller coaster. Sometimes you become a doormat and you try to reason it out, right, like for instance, this kid only sees me once a week, right? Okay so what’s so wrong with him/her getting away with this one teensy thing one time a week? I’m going to answer this rhetorical question. Everything. Everything is wrong with this. Man, kids are so freakin’ wily and sneaky and they’re like lawyers, always looking for a loophole. You better word your rules carefully, man. They will see the way out.
The thing about me is that I get attached to these kids. I love them like they are my own. I say this and would like to take the time to recognize all the mothers and fathers out there who have a real connection, simply because of biology and the way they are connected to the Being that comes from their bodies. I do not know love like this. But I do know of unconditional love. Love for someone who screams and kicks and yells when they do not get what they want. Love for someone who can be manipulative and is real good at the Blame Game. Love for someone who loves to play, love for someone who loves to play when they should be laying down to sleep. Love for someone who is grumpy just to be grumpy. Love for someone who does not seem to love you.
I’ve felt like a punching bag for some time now, with these kids. And somehow I think all of the punches I took have made me stronger. I’m able to show tough love, as kids should be receiving, and I’m able to stay present until they can understand. Until they can understand that this is love. I want to do right by you, kid. I really really do.
So, yeah, I’m not one of those babysitters who comes and bosses you around until you’re in bed and I can have my sweet sweet freedom. I’m your adoptive sister. I’m the big sister you never had and never knew you always needed. I’m the one who will feel with you, stay with you, encourage you, cuddle you, I’m the one who will ask for your permission and include you in the deciding process.
It’s so lonely to live as a kid with someone governing everything you do.
And I need you to understand that it’s because we love you.
I think one day you will understand as I am starting to.
The things we do don’t make sense in the moment, and I’m sorry for it. If I could breathe wisdom and knowledge into you, you know I would.
Sometimes as a babysitter, we feel lost and alone, too. Disconected and unsure if we’re really doing right by you. Until that one day, that bright day that will go into my memory bank when you say the words, “I love you.”
You told me when you weren’t asking for something. You told me after you had cried and we made up. You told me with a smile on your face, light in your eyes, and a glow about you.
Babysitting can be a roller coaster, one with lots of steep hills, high and low. But honestly, the highs make this job so totally and completely worth it.
This is Sabrina, signing out.