I would run through the alley behind our house and barely make it on time. I'd be relieved to be there only to sit and wait. And wait. And wait. What could the mom be doing? The dad seems ready. She knew I was coming. She knew all week. She is a stay-at-home mom. What does she do all day? And why is her hair wet? She didn't have time to get ready? The kids are fed. And I can tell she cleaned up. What's the problem here? Why did I run? Why do I try to be on time?
I had a babysitter last night. I answered the door looking like a total weirdo with half of my make-up done, hair a total wreck and sweating from trying to clean up in time. I thought of the McMann family that I used to sit for when I was a teenager. I was literally running through the house 10 seconds before the door rang cleaning up and trying to find something, anything to wear. I told the sitter to take a seat and I'd catch up with her as soon as I could get ready. I couldn't find anything to wear, was missing a boot and needed a shower but ran out of time. I wondered what my sitter thought.
When I was a teenager, the McMann family had three girls, less than two years apart. Wow. I know understand how busy she was. And how much she needed her night out with her husband. She was lucky enough to have three sitters that could walk down the alley to her house. Back in the day when you had to call you sitter, odds were good that one of us would take the sit. I can imagine how excited she was when she heard about us. I know I would be thrilled to have three sitters down the street.
I would never count my money when she handed it to me. But I would secretly try to count it as I walked. I'd wait a few houses and see if the actual amount was anywhere near the guess. I never knew what her going rate was and couldn't figure it out. My guess it was as much as she could find that day in cash. I was happy to make a few bucks and watch TV once the kids were in bed. I knew I was helping Mrs. McMann out. Last night my sitter thanked me for letting her babysit. I love that. And I love that someday, she will totally understand why I am a total mess when I answer the door. And why I am never, ever ready when the doorbell rings.
The Open Road
4 years ago