Okay, so this is going to sound so corny. But if you’ve never babysat long term, you wouldn’t understand anyway. Now that I’m older, I’m understanding what a rewarding experience it was for me watching this little girl grow up. I’m sure those hours of piggy back rides, Easy Mac, and Mickey Mouse band aids, could not have been better spent.
I started out very young. I was 13 when I watched Ellie for the first time. She was one. I know that seems like a lot of faith to put into a barely-teen. But if you ask her mother or father, they would tell you they don’t regret a moment of it. The fact of the matter is, when Ellie’s parents chose me to be their long term babysitter, they chose Ellie’s future big sister, best friend, and confidant. For her, I was the perfect big sister, around enough to teach, play, adventure, and have fun. But I wasn’t around enough to get frustrating, annoying, and overwhelming like real siblings become. Plus it’s a huge self esteem boost to know someone loves you unlike anyone else.
That being said, I wasn’t just a part of their family, they were a part of mine. I had adults who cared about me willing to listen, who I could trust. Not everyone my age had that extra support system, which remains a huge blessing. Plus not having a younger sibling of my own just made me love Ellie more. If you’ve never had someone looking up to you, aspiring and hoping, you also wouldn’t understand.
So why is Phoebe having a capital cheezy moment? Because my sweet girl just turned 7 two days ago. She moved to the other end of town, so I don’t get to see her like I used to. It’s true she traded that sweet toddler attitude for a sassy 7 year old one when I wasn’t looking. But she’s still my darling and she still keeps the sock monkey I made her 2 years ago on her bed. I hope she keeps it there till she’s 30.
When she is allowed to date boys. Happy Birthday Baby Girl, keep on singing!