Hire the Babysitter!

We had a great weekend.  Saturday we hosted a baby shower for one of the girls’ former babysitters.

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Back in the day, I taught 8th grade girls’ Sunday School.  I had an incredible group of young girls, whom I grew to adore!  No one prayed harder for me to overcome infertility and have a baby.  No one prayed harder for the babies growing in my tummy.  And no one, beat any of those girls to the hospital to visit the fragile premature little girls laying in the nursery.  Two young girls in particular captured my heart.  They had the most amazing friendship.  They became our duo babysitting team- from 9th grade through 12th.  We were blessed.  My girls were blessed.  I think they were blessed.  One of them has a cute little 5 week old baby boy. The other, well, she is soon expecting a beautiful baby girl, and therefore a fabulous tea party themed shower this weekend.

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Decorating and preparing was so much fun.  I pulled out two old quilts-one made for me by my grandmother, the other one quilted by my great, great aunts.  They served as the perfect backdrop for a moss runner, candles, roses, greenery and some touches of crystal and silver.  Making the table, were the vintage pink dishes left to me by mother-in-law just before her death early in my marriage.  She was a soft-spoken woman of grace.  Each time I use those dishes I think of her, how much I know she would have treasured her grand-daughters and I smile.  We ate, presents were opened and by the end, there was an explosion of pink!  The dad’s, grand-dads and dads to be showed up to load the “loot”.  The real visitin’ and eatin’ began.  I loved it.  I loved watching my own girls, just now the same age as the two babysitters were when they began working for us. Life had come full circle.  It hit me with joy, mixed with a tinge of sorrow-sorrow time passes so quickly.  Most of all though, I was struck by what an incredible blessing these two young women, now mothers, have been to my family.  I stood back as the new mom let each of my girls hold her precious son.  I watched as the four of them laughed, talked about his little nose, attire and life in general.  I laughed as they talked about the soon to be mom’s nursery.  Then, it seemed to hit both these young women.  Almost in unison, they looked at me and asked, “How old were they (my twin girls) when you let us babysit them?”  “A little over six weeks,” I replied.  The response was comical.  Within seconds they were both talking a little louder and as if in total astonishment!  I found myself being reprimanded.  “Were you crazy?  We were 14!!!!  You left us with your six week old babies?  What were you thinking?”  I couldn’t help but laugh.  There in front of me stood the six week old baby girls-now 15 years of age, standing taller than their mother!  Alongside them stood the nearing 30 young women who were once the sweet 14 year old babysitters.  Obviously all had survived.  Obviously all four are bonded for life and still crazy about each other.  For a brief moment though I did wonder what in the world I had been thinking.  Or maybe I hadn’t been thinking.  Maybe I had been nothing more than a crazy, sleep deprived, in need of adult conversation new mom.  I am not denying that in part describes me, but the truth is I intentionally asked those sweet 14 year old girls to take care of my just over 6 week old babies.  I waited a long time to become a mom.  Six years of infertility had kept me on an emotional roller coaster, friends had come and gone, my marriage had been tested.  And in God’s timing, in His way, He had chosen to grant us twin girls.  The pregnancy was difficult, they came too early, I hemorrhaged shortly after delivery, and for several days I don’t think anyone felt confident all three of us were going to survive.  But we did.  During those years of waiting and even during those difficult days awaiting their coming home, I vowed to give them back to God.  I determined to surround them with as many faith filled people as I could.  I vowed to be their biggest advocate, but to not hold on too tightly.  I knew they would need someone besides mom and dad to “watch”, to talk to, to trust.  So in those early days, yes just past six weeks (actually I think it was closer to 9 weeks), I purposed to let those two, sweet, 14 year old girls become a part of my girls’ lives.  I purposed to encourage what I knew would one day be a mentorship and a friendship.  Crazy, maybe.  But as I said, in the end all survived.  Two young 14 year old girls got to spread their wings.  They got to share with me, borrow shoes for prom, and seek advice.  I gained their mothers as life long friends and mentors.  Now, my girls have two sweet, young moms to share with, borrow from and seek advice from.

The baby shower was great.  Greater yet though was seeing life come full circle.  If you are a young mom or dad doubting, wishing you had some time alone or with your mate, to you I say, “Hire the babysitter!”

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