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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Good Babysitter:

One of my best friends from junior high on is my friend Camille.  Camille had a big sister, Debbie, who is two years older than us.  Debbie was good to us.  She shared her clothes, old boyfriends, and her babysitting jobs with Camille and me.

One summer, when I was a sophomore, Debbie and I actually split a full-time babysitting job.  Being older and wiser than me, I think that Debbie had this figured out to her benefit.  I had the morning shift and she had the afternoon shift.  I got up every morning at 6:30, hopped on my bike and the rode three miles to work for .75 per hour. Debbie showed up at 1:00, after all the hard work was done, just in time to relax by the apartment swimming pool with the kids.  Good thinking, Deb.

We worked for a divorcee named Linda, who had two sweet kids named Bill (6) and Wendy (4).  Being a single mom working full time is not easy.  I have done it myself.  Linda would be gone to her job in a dentist's office by the time I arrived.  I was reliable, so she could afford to do this.  (I don't know what would have happened if I had had a bike wreck one morning, but that never happened.)  The kids would still be asleep, the kitchen would be trashed and Wendy would have wet the bed once more.  I think that Linda must have left for work a few minutes early just to avoid looking me in the eye.  But, you know what?  I really didn't mind all of the extra work, because I knew that she really needed my help.  And, it was kind of like having my own house.

So, I would clean the kitchen, start the laundry, clean the living room, vacuum, and make the kids breakfast.  I made sure that Wendy had her favorite outfit ready, the one she wore every single day, if she could.  It was a pink t-shirt and some long shorts.  She looked cute in that ensemble, and it made her feel pretty.

We probably ate an early lunch and then hit the pool as soon as it opened.  I wanted to get in some pool time too, not just Debbie.  Then the second shift of help would arrive, and I had the rest of the day to myself.  It was a good job.  I could have friends over to visit me there if I wanted to.  Linda had some great 45 records for her stereo, including my favorite at the time, Kiss An Angel Good Morning.  She also had some great books.  I read Linda's copy of The Happy Hooker, on her dime.  It was fascinating.

There was an older guy, in his 30's, who took notice of me.  I think his name was Michael.  He worked in mill.  He lived in the apartment behind Linda's.  Michael was becoming a little too interested, and Linda went over there and verbally abused him on my behalf.  He never talked or looked at me again.  Thank goodness, that was kind of creepy.

Yesterday, I just got to thinking about that summer, so long ago.  Camille and her boyfriend at the time, Steve (a good Catholic boy who attended the Catholic high school) told me about a couple of boys who lived in that apartment complex even though they were still in high school.  One of them was Rick, who I would meet two years later and marry the year after that.  It is just funny how things are intertwined and how they turn out.  

I was a great babysitter for Linda.  And, what goes around, comes around!  Later, when I was a divorced single mother with two sweet babies, my friend Brenda drove across town to watch my girls and clean my house for $2.00 an hour.  God bless you, Brenda, I am still grateful about that.  I wonder if Linda still remembers me.


Lisa Ricard Claro said...

I'd bet money Linda remembers you. We never forget when God sends an angel.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Lisa, it takes one to know one!

BECKY said...

I agree! It seems like there's always someone around when you need them. And then we can "pay it forward" by helping someone else...mabye even years later!
You two are both angels!! :)

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

So are you, Becky!

No Copying!


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