Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ode to a Babysitter

In the spirit of moving along to more positive topics . . .

A lot of people wonder how it's possible that Michael and I are able to go on dates with 6 little ones at home. Here is the answer:


Meet Alycia, our babysitter. It all started almost 5 years ago, when we were a wee family of 4 (almost makes me laugh now - a family of 4?!?). Joey was a toddler, and we had yet to leave him in anyone's care because he was the most cranky baby on the planet. Basically, if he was awake, he was crying. I had been in MOMS Club for a while by then, and a friend from there kept telling me about her neice who babysat on the side (in addition to working a full-time day job and putting herself through school at night). She gave me Alycia's phone number, and I tacked it to my bulletin board where it sat for months. I was very skeptical about anyone being able to handle my crabby little guy. I really can't remember what prompted me to finally call Alycia, but I did. I asked her to come over just to chat and meet the kids, which she did. We liked her instantly. She refused to name an hourly rate, she said "Oh, just whatever you think is fair . . ." I still remember the first time she came and babysat Kevin and Joey. Michael and I went to this great restaurant up on a hill with a gorgeous view of the city lights below. Alycia had the magic touch with Joey from that first time. Shortly after that first date, I found out I was pregnant - with twins!

Anyhow, she's been babysitting for us ever since. And she's had the magic touch with all of our babies who have come along since then. I don't even bother worrying anymore about "Oh no, what if the baby starts crying while we're gone and won't stop?" Alycia can handle it, and I don't think any of them have cried and not stopped with her.

She's watched our kids through hundreds of dates, and even a few weekends so Michael and I could get away for a couple of days. She dropped everything to come and stay with the boys when the twins were hospitalized with meningitis. She was here looking after the older kids when Lilah was born at home, and was one of the first people to hold Lilah. She spent countless hours here when Finn was in the hospital.

She's really more than a babysitter to us. Michael and I think of her almost like a neice. The kids adore her (I believe she was Joey's first love - for a long time he referred to her as his girlfriend and insisted he was going to marry her one day). We will rue the day she decides to go off and get married and have her own family (although any children she has will be so lucky to have her as a mother)!

She has been so incredibly supportive, compassionate, and insightful since Finn's diagnosis. One of the first things she said after we found out about his DS was "I can't wait to be a part of his life."

We are so lucky to have you in our life, Alycia.

9 comments:

Tricia said...

Do you think she'll travel to MD? She sounds like an amazing person!

Alycia said...

That was the nicest thing anyone has ever said to/about me. I am sitting in my office with tears running down my face... That actually isn't all that surprising : ) That was so touching that I don't even know what to say. It's funny to look back to when it was just Kev and Joey in the old house. I remember when you found out about the twins and you and Michael went to look at minivans. Ha! I remember the first few times I watched Kev and for some reason we started this tradition of making nachos and he would put so much hot sauce on them! Then Joey fell in love with me and then broke my heart when he broke up with me. He sat me down in the living room and told me he had to tell me something… I still have my engagement ring from him! Remember when he called to tell me we were getting married on Saturday. LOL. I remember the twins waking up for the first time when you guys were gone and I was holding them both and couldn't quite figure out how to put one back in the crib while holding the other one at the same time. Then of course there was the exorcism or so it sounded like that when Lila was born. Then came the first time I held Finn and he told me he loved me : ) Well maybe not yet but it is just a matter of time!

I don’t know at what point I stopped saying, “I am going to baby-sit” and started saying, “I am watching my friend’s kids.” Somewhere along the line it stopped being babysitting and started being something so much more. I think I am the only 25 year old Child Development Major who still “baby-sits!”

Thank you so much Lisa and Michael for your kind words. Your message meant more to me than you will ever know as do each one of your children.

P.S. There had to be a better picture than that! I look like I have 6 chins!!! : ) But Finn looks adorable so I will let it slide!

Jen said...

She sounds wonderful. You are very lucky.

Carla said...

All hail, Alycia! Can she give out pointers? I'm having a hard time finding anyone to watch 2 kids here in NH; my mom won't even do it when she comes to visit for 2 weeks in November! Hhhhmmmm, I wonder how much airfare would cost...

Chrystal said...

Alycia sounds like one great lady!

rickismom said...

lucky you!

Mrs. Mother said...

What a super sweet babysitter.

Angie said...

Great post Lisa. What a wonder friend you've found in Alycia... if only she could be cloned ;)

Cindy said...

She sounds like a heaven sent! I am almost jealous - but oh so happy for you!!! :)