My recent participation in the #WeekInMyLife series occurred during a very interesting time, full of unexpected developments and opportunities for growth. I definitely had moments of… GAAAAA MORE CHANGE?! WTF is going on here?! Thankfully, those moments were short lived. I managed to maintain perspective, and I do believe I have the Week in my Life series to thank for that, by focusing on shining a light on each and every major and mundane moment. Because every moment is temporary and does matter.
As you know, last week was a little nutty for a multitude of reasons — mainly due to a very sick child that landed in the ER twice. It was scary, frustrating & exhausting, but somehow, we all survived, and my humble little family of 4 actually tolerated much more than I realized we could.
However, a sick 3yo was only a portion of the nuttiness. The Friday before the Week In My Life series began, I sang at a funeral for a good friend of my family. Although it was a somewhat expected death [due to cancer] this was the 2nd funeral in a matter of months for this family I hold close to my heart. I babysat their children growing up, and remained close as life, well, evolved. Nearly a week after her Aunt’s death, the beautiful girl I babysat for gave birth to her first baby. Nothing like a new baby to shed a positive ray of light over an otherwise tragic year. The day after my tear-filled moment of feeling old, but proud, we received official notice that our sitter, who had just began a full-time job as an RN, was retiring from the world of sitting.
Even though I knew this day would arrive, my heart sank as I got this news.
Like, lump in the throat, holding back tears and all.
But for some reason, the tears never fell.
I almost incorporated this news into the Week in my Life series, but I knew I needed time to process this information. Even though my mind immediately went right to the very real & raw feelings of holy shit, how the hell are we going to be able to do this and that and the other thing? Who’s gonna bail our sorry asses out now?! Our safety net is gone! Our life outside of our house alone together is GONE.
The odd thing is, once I got all those initial negative feelings out, the moving-forward process happened rather quickly.
Because of all the interactions I had just experienced with the family I babysat for years ago… all 6 of them almost instantly popped into my head. I questioned how I officially retired. I wondered if it was simply a natural transition; their kids were probably old enough to stay home without a sitter when I got married and moved to Tucson at the ripe old age of 21. I honestly don’t remember how it happened, even after reflecting on it over the last week. My main focus was how close I still am to the family I babysat for, the fact that they didn’t hold any ill regard for me moving on with my life. In fact, they embraced it, and still welcome my family into their home with open arms, like no time has passed. The hubs & I always felt like honorary members of the family — the parents were like our big brother & sister. “Uncle Rich” is Natalie’s Godfather… need I go on?
With the way this year has played out, I’ve found myself puking in my mouth hearing the phrase everything happens for a reason.
After witnessing a few close friends say goodbye to loved ones WAY too soon and everything that’s still going on with my niece
… I’m sure you can understand my increased level of skepticism. Certain difficult moments have made more sense to me, but only when I put them into perspective. The initial voices of freakout my brain tends to lead with when I hear any level of life-altering news have begun to quiet down quicker as I gain perspective and learn more answers to the whys.
Am I disappointed our sitter is moving on with her life? Sure, I’m bummed; I am selfish like that. When I look at the bigger picture, I know that this isn’t personal, it’s business. Our former sitter is going to be an incredible nurse. I am beyond grateful for all the amazing times the hubs & I were able to have because of her. We really did embrace life. Our love is stronger because of the once-twice/month date nights we’ve enjoyed over the last year and a half… hell, she bailed us out when we went to San Diego & Salt Lake City in August,
she did an overnight for New Year’s Eve
last year… she did much
more than just a once/month date-night. Our kids love & respect her, she knew their quirks & routines, she would even find opportunities to build us up to them, so they would appreciate us on a new level. I don’t know if our former sitter could possibly understand the depth of what she did for us until she has kids of her own. And I hope that we remain close so I can hold those babies someday. She will be such a fantastic mother!
Knowing how much our lives have evolved since having felt that beautiful light of freedom our sitter granted us, the hubs & I will find another sitter… oh yes, we will. Spending time away from our kids is important for all 4 of us! Our moms help us out once in awhile, but they live over 2 hours away and will both undergo surgery in the coming weeks, so that shred of a safety-net will be gone for at least the remainder of the year; finding a new sitter ASAP will be vital.
I don’t know if our new sitter will be able to live up to what our first sitter did for our family. But if she’s even a fraction of the sitter we were spoiled with, once-upon-a-time, we’ll have a terrific sitter on our hands.