The phone rang one day and there was another young couple looking for one of my sisters to babysit so they could have a night out.
My oldest sister Debby had long since moved out and my sister Stacie was out on a date with her soon to be husband Bob. My mother told the couple that neither of my sisters was available. I asked my mother, “Hey, how about me?” I talked it over with my mother and my services were offered. It was my first baby sitting job.
My rationale was simple. I had spent time watching my brother who is six years younger than I am. How hard could it be to watch TV while little children slept? After mowing lawns, cutting firewood, making maple syrup and stacking lumber I was sure I could handle it. It would be the easiest money I ever made.
And I was right. I became a regular baby sitter for a couple of local families and I loved it. I even liked playing with them, crawling around on the floor, playing horsey (they would ride on my back) and the whole bit.
My childhood never really allowed me to be a child because all we did was work. And my father frowned on play time because nothing that helped family survival came of it. But I still wanted to play and babysitting was a welcome outlet. And it got me out of the house to boot. I loved that freedom.
Having children of my own was a no-brainer. I have been blessed by three and can say that I still like to play. I am and always will be a big kid at heart.
My oldest son and his wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl about two weeks ago. Being the father of the father put me somewhat down the list of visitors but none-the-less plans were made and here I am spending the weekend with them getting to know my grand-daughter.
I must admit my excitement was very minimal until I got here and could not wait to hold her for the first time. I lit up like a Christmas tree and people that know me best even commented that I was smiling (which I rarely do, especially in photos) and that I was in my glory.
And indeed I am. All of the years of watching children and having my own has come rushing back and made me feel child-like excitement all over again. The joy is real.
The joy and happiness is palpable in this home. My son and his wife are very happy and I can’t remember the last time I have seen my son smile this much (wonder where he gets that from). Seeing my son play with his daughter brings me a warmth from head to toe. I now get to call him son and dad. If you have little babies in your life give me a thumb up!