Because of Babysitting

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There are different kinds of reactions among kids when they hear the babysitter is coming. There are the kids who would forcefully attach themselves to their parent’s legs and beg them not to go, and there are the kids who throw their parents out the door and run straight for the snack cabinets. As a babysitter, I have seen and experienced lots with kids and have mastered the way they work. I’ve had perfectly behaved kids, wild kids, funny kids, sweet kids and about every other kind of kids on the personality spectrum that you can imagine.

As difficult as it can be, I believe babysitting has been one of the  things that has truly prepared me for college next year and for the rest of my life.

I have had very crazy experiences babysitting (but make sure you don’t tell their parents this!). Each experience and each kid has shaped me and the way I view myself and my responsibilities in completely different ways. One of the biggest lessons I have learned happened after falling down a flight of stairs carrying a baby. Should I have been holding onto the railing? Yes. Should I have known better and not worn slippery socks on wooden stairs? Probably. But the one thing I will always be thankful for is the fact that my first instinct when I slipped, even before I thought about catching myself, was to tuck the baby into my chest as protectively as I could to keep him from hitting the stair. Of course I took the impact, and as much as it hurt, I will always be grateful for the fact that the baby remained completely untouched, and seemingly unfazed at what just happened since he had a smile on his face. It was that experience that has taught me the importance of instinct and decision making. It is always important to make the right decisions, because they can completely change your life. Sometimes we only do what is best for ourselves and won’t think about the impact it will have on others. Even though this is selfish, it is a human trait. In order to be liked by the world around me, I need to know how to treat it with the same respect I treat myself with. College is going to be full of people I have never met before, and I want to be able to show them that they can trust and count on me, because it is very important to me that they know that. If I had only thought of myself, the baby could have ended up hurt.

On a side note, please don’t think I am a bad babysitter for the stairs incident! I promise kids like me. One of the best memories I have babysitting was with one of the little boys I babysit, Harrison. He lives a few houses up from me and can see my front door from his. He knew I was coming one night so he waited by his door until he saw me leaving. He got a new cape that day and couldn’t wait to show me it. As soon as I started walking he flew down the street to meet me and jumped into my arms. I have never seen a kid with such a big smile on their face. He is always so full of life and is a ball of happiness that can light up a room. I thought about his smile and that moment for days, and still do. It taught me that it’s not always the big stuff in life that matters, but also the little. We need to learn to appreciate every little moment around us, because someday we may realize that those little moments were really the biggest. Life’s too short to focus only on what we see as “important” to us. It was when I started to appreciate the little things like a little boy’s joy, that I began to enjoy life more. College and life will always be tough, and it is happiness that will bring us through it.

It isn’t even just the memories that have changed my life, but also the kids themselves. One of the most important things to me that I will always cherish are the relationships I have built with these kids. There are some families I have been babysitting for for years, which has allowed me to be a part of the kids’ lives, and has given me the chance to watch them grow up. It is amazing to feel like you are meaningful and important to the kids you are watching. The most rewarding part of babysitting is just being able to know the kid so well that you know the whole routine of their life, and you get to be a part of it. I get to change their lives while they get to change mine. These kids have taught me how to enjoy life and the importance of being a kid because sometimes we forget that even in high school, we are still kids too. The kids I’ve babysat have truly opened up a whole new chamber of my heart, and I have been made a more loving and happy person because of it.