I won two tickets to see “I’m A Stranger Here Myself” at the Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia. So of course that meant scrambling to find a babysitter. Luckily, a neighborhood teenager who sat for us once before was available. As we pulled away from the curb, our three kids and a boy from around the corner were playing hopscotch and running around in the front yard.
This may sound idyllic.
It wasn’t. I promise. I’m pretty sure my penultimate words to Evelyn, Charlotte, and Calvin were, “It’s a good thing [the babysitter’s] here because I need a break from you people.”
Then I hugged them and told them I loved them.
When we got back 5 hours later, the babysitter was sitting on the couch, texting. The kids were all asleep. Everything was in order*.
Early this morning I heard Calvin crying in his room, and when I scooped him up and held him in the rocking chair, he told me what was wrong. “She read me LOTS of long stories, got me fresh water, & she put my blankets on wrong. So I fixed them.” I told him that sounded like a really nice time with the babysitter.
“I had a nice time with her, but did YOU miss me, Mommy?”
*By this, I mean that there were dirty dishes in the sink, sticky fingerprints on the table and chairs, dirty clothes on the floor in the bathroom, and lights on all over the house.