Made My Day

Growing up, I had the sweetest babysitting gig ever.

My parents’ dear friends had three adorable children born back-to-back-to-back, and they were one of my first babysitting jobs ever, starting around sixth grade.

I watched the kids for a really, really long time: all the way through high school and even during college summers.

For the mid-80s and early 90s, the money was phenomenal. I think I made about $140 a week.

I thought I was being grossly overpaid to basically have fun all day long.

Looking back, I can’t believe I had the energy and did all the things I did.

The kids – now all highly functional adults – may have a different opinion on my babysitting skills, but my overall plan was simple: we shall not be bored.

To that end, I don’t think a day went by where we didn’t go swimming, go-karting, mini golfing, to a park or on some other adventure. We made forts. We made cookies. We had water fights.

I taught the middle child to drive my car. When he was seven.

(Ok, he was mostly just steering. And we were on an isolated road in the country. He loved it!)

This family was a huge part of my life.

Another fact about my middle and high school years: I loved pigs and had a pig collection of figurines and whatnot. I will not elaborate further.

So, it was with a huge, huge smile that I came home earlier this week and saw a package on my doorstep from this very family, 20 years after my last babysitting check had been cashed.

Along with the sweetest note, there were these items:

photo (7) photo (8) photo (11) photo (10)photo (9)

If you can’t tell, they’re marzipan pigs and other porcine-themed candy.

The note indicated that the mom and youngest daughter were at Pike Place Market in Seattle, saw these and immediately thought of me. They just had to send them.

Seriously, how awesome is that? It made my day. No, it made my week.

P.S. Now that I am on the other side of the coin and have kids of my own, I am so indebted to the wonderful village of kind people who have helped us with MGM and Trixie. Back in the day, I thought the staggering sums of money the family I worked for paid me were their way of just being generous to their friends’ kid (me), but now I get how priceless a good babysitter is. I would pay any sum to know that my own kids are safe, happy and loved. I am so humbled to have been given that opportunity early on by the S. family. I love them.






5 thoughts on “Made My Day

  1. Jani,

    Since I’m pretty sure the statute of limitations has passed on you being arrested for allowing a 7 year old to drive your car, I’m here to correct a small but important detail in your story. For those reading this comment, I was the middle child she was referring to in her blog. I’m sure because she didn’t want to appear as a reckless babysitter (which she wasn’t) in her story, she made it sound like I was on her lap “just steering”. I was in fact in the driver’s seat all by myself, with my 2 sisters in the back and Jani riding shotgun. I remember initially “gunning” the accelarator and both my sister’s screams in the back. Being a fast learner, I quickly realized that wasn’t the correct way to do things, so I adjusted and did drive a little ways down the country road after that without incident. So thank you, today I am a fantastic driver, and have primarily you to thank for getting me started.

    I have two young boys today (with another baby due here any day now) and I realize how lucky we were to have such an awesome babysitter, and how a great babysitter is really priceless like you state above (we have an awesome one who is a National Powerlifting Champion). Thanks for being awesome.


    Deke Stanek (the middle child)

  2. That is so sweet! Thank you so much for letting me be a part of your family when we were both “newer” parents and new residents here in the med city. Your kiddos and your family hold a special place in my heart always. You are so very kind and generous in every form of the word. Miss you guys!

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