A letter to all of the Mother's whose children I babysat.
At age 13 you first hired me to watch your children. Thank you for trusting me. For the nine years followed, I babysat countless children, entering the lives of so many of your families. I babysat your children, their cousins and friends, your friends children, and so on. Never could I have imagined the influence you would all have on my life.
You taught me the importance of responsibility. Of finishing a job well, toys put away, blankets folded, dishes washed.
And you never blamed me when things didn't go as planned; when something broke, when green beans were left uneaten.
You taught me the value of a little something extra, in the form of a tip or rounding up. You were generous, and in turn taught me to be generous.
Not only did you trust me, but you had confidence in me. You let me teach your children how to swim, go bike riding with them, cook them real food, struggle over difficult homework, help with your brand new baby twins, or all five of your kids at once, take care of them when they were sick, babysit overnight while you got away, and even gave me your car to drive them to and from.
Thank you for the positive references. You helped me save up for camp in high school, pay my way through college, and even begin to pay for my wedding, all by continuing to hire me, and spreading the word.
I began babysitting some of your families before your youngest child (or two!) were born, and stopped babysitting when your oldest began to babysit themselves. I changed their diapers and now they are changing diapers. Some of your children have even graduated from college, closing the door on their own babysitting careers. I now send you Christmas cards of my own family. I am thrilled to receive your in return, seeing how much everyone has grown.
Now that I am a mother myself, I also want to thank you for showing me how to have balance in a family. You were present for your children, but also trusted that I could get the job done when you had a work event or a much needed date night. You showed me that wanting time away from your kids didn't make you a bad parent, but in many ways it made you a better parent. You taught me tips on motherhood and marriage long before I was considering either.
Today, and I reflect on my own role as a parent, I am glad to know all that you taught me. Like you, I hope that I will recommend the best babysitters with the highest praise, be generous with an occasional tip or rounding up, trust babysitters to actively engage with Behr, and appreciate when they go the extra mile, to finish the job well.
Thank you for bringing me into your lives and for the countless lessons you taught me.