Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Babysitter's Club

I recently posted a not so fun photo on my page. It was a real photo from a real vintage magazine in which extreme racial injustice was occuring. I posted it with a dose of fact and a side of opinion. Someone then suggested, condescendingly,  maybe I should consider a name change because "marvelous" memory didn't seem to fit with what I posted. In which I replied that to me, knowledge IS marvelous. The truth is marvelous, even when it's ugly.  Dealing with painful truths can bring about marvelous healing! So the things I share with you today in my experience with being babysat, are to serve a purpose. Maybe you will see the point, maybe not. But I do have one, I promise!

When I comb through my mind rolodex of former babysitters I have some memories that make me cringe, and some that make me smile.

The earliest babysitter I can recall was just before kindergarten. This was probably the worst experience I had in the care of a babysitter. I cannot bring myself to share all the details but I will share what my heart is strong enough to allow. I don't actually remember my  babysitter, believe it or not. It was a woman but the people I remember are her husband and their kids who were all pretty awful to me. I remember one day the older kids lifted me up on a clothesline and ran off. I was very small and scared to let go  so I held on, screaming until I finally dropped. I was fine  but I knew then and there I could not trust them. Things got worse after that with the children and especially the husband. That is where I will leave it.

After that, I had one that was again, pretty bad. Not as bad as the first but still very harsh. The whole family was mean to me. Truly mean. But yet when my mother would come to pick me up they were all sugar and spice. This confused me greatly and  embedded severe trust issues that would last me a life time, even now. They would often times make me clean out their toddlers potty chair. I was a young child and did not know how to do it and each time they would then stand me in the corner for not doing it properly. If they found out I wet the bed the night before, they would  swing me around the room by my feet. Not painfully but I suppose to humiliate me? Your guess is as good as mine. But the worst thing came from the oldest daughter of my sitter. On a recent visit with my Dad he took me to a park. I collected pine cones from our outing. I saved one and cherished it. I took it with me to my babysitters one day and showed it to the oldest daughter who then grabbed it from my hands and ripped all the cones off and handed it back to me, torn to shreds. Which symbolically also tore my heart to shreds.

Both of these sitters were before I was even 6 years old. I can still remember wanting to tell my mom the things that were happening but my tongue could not speak the words. I didn't understand why these things happened. All I could say was "They are mean to me" My young mind had no defense yet.

Ok the worst is over! Exhale :) Luckily after this, my experiences with sitters changed and for the better! I had one who was so sweet, so loving and so protective of me! She was a homemaker with small children of her own. She made me healthy meals and gave me chewable vitamin C tablets.They were cherry flavored and I have yet to find them again.  After school we got to watch Tom & Jerry and some days, Godzilla. One day she found me rubbing my back against the door corner, it itched like mad! She took one look at me and said "You have chicken pox!!" She was right, I sure did and oooooh weeee did I itch! She was very kind and I treasure my memory of her.

I had a few more over the years but nothing to write about. So here we are to  the best one I ever had,  a teenager named Wendy. Now Wendy is the babysitter I wish I could contact TODAY and tell her how awesome she was to me! The babysitter of all babysitters! She was the coolest thing on legs, in my opinion. She use to curl my hair, part it on the side and tell me I looked like Princess Diana. She loved to listen to me talk about my little life. She loved to cook in the kitchen with me and one of my favorite things was she took won ton wrappers and fried them in a Fry Daddy....Oh man I ate them like candy, they were so good! She was so into the pop culture of the early 80's and knew all the cool music. She just inspired me and I love her even still!

I use to look back at my caretakers who treated me badly, with much anger and resentment. Sometimes I still do but more importantly than that, I realized they taught me the perils of people who should not be trusted. They taught me how to truly listen to my children. Taught me to look for signs that I may not otherwise see. They taught me what COULD happen. When people say, "Oh you can't live in fear blah blah blah" to them I say, I don't live in fear, I live in fact. MY facts, MY reality, MY life. It all taught me, formed me, changed me. Some bad but LOTS of good! I don't regret the things that happened to me, but rather I am thankful for the lessons they taught  me :)

3 comments:

  1. This blog makes me so upset and I wish I was with you when this was going on so we could beat them up!! I understand how you feel because there have been few in my life who were not so nice to me either Its so hard for kids to understand and it breaks my heart. I look at my kids and Thank God that I can stay home with them & that I do not have to put my trust into a babysitter. NOT saying all are bad, that is not the case, however there are many who are. I can remember as a elementary school kid that I had a strong awareness of right and wrong in how you treat others. I was always the kid who would take up for the kids getting picked on. I truly would go home and cry because a certain kid was bullied. I think because I went through my own issues with adults who were not so nice to me that it made me more aware & hyper sensitive to others who went through similar things. Thanks for sharing and what doesn't kill us only makes us stronger!! TOWANDA!!!

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    1. Aww love ya girl.I know you would have been there for me then just like you are now <3

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  2. Thank you for sharing. You certainly are not a victim. You were able to learn from the situations in which you were victimized. Today you are a strong mother, a strong person. As for being overprotective of your children, i don't think a mother can ever be too protective. Those little humans lean on us and are totally dependent on us especially when they are under eight. Then, only gradually do they become independent. i am sure that many will disagree with me. However,i am also sure that i have beliefs in many topics with which they will disagree. Keep sharing, lovely lady.

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