The Walkers are on a quest for a new babysitter. Our beloved Rachael is off to college.
Rachael has been our official go-to girl for a few years now. For her 16th birthday, my husband printed off and gave her Map Quest directions to our house. My oldest child gets some of her cute hand-me-downs. My youngest child thinks she’s as pretty as Barbie (in fact, she’s much prettier and far more real). The rest of us just think she’s cool. The thing about Rachael is that she’s just enough of a kid that my kids don’t realize their being supervised; but she’s just grown up enough to get all of my pop culture references.
We’re all a little sad to let her go.
Who will let the kids play games on her phone and watch too much Disney channel? Who will build forts in the den floor that the kids insist on leaving there for days? Who will let them wash her car with lots of soapy water, then let them slide off the hood into the grass? Oh, wait…NO ONE will do that. We have to draw the line somewhere. Epic night for the kids, though. It’s still talked about neighborhood-wide.
And how, oh, how will we manage date night without her?!
But I’m not one to procrastinate. Just kidding! Of course I am! I’ll avoid finding a new sitter as long as I can, possibly even texting Rachael’s college advisor with an emergency request for her to return home to help avoid a close call with WMD (Walkers Missing Date night).
And while I would love to keep Rachael around to maintain Most Favored Babysitter status, I know what waits for her.
I know she is about to embark of the time of her life. I know she is about to meet lifelong friends and have priceless experiences. I know she’s about to step out into that magical space between childhood and adulthood that will shape who she becomes. I know she’s about to challenge every belief her family holds dear and examine what she’ll keep and what she’ll let go.
I know she’ll head east in a few days, her trunk loaded down with all the stuff she thinks she will need, which I imagine to include some camouflage bibbed overalls, some rocking heels, a flat iron and a volleyball.
I know she’ll do great, and I want her to. I want her to shine her sweet, funny, smart light all over east Tennessee.
Incidentally, I had a brief conversation this morning with a potential new sitter. (Let’s not call her a “replacement.” As if.) This person is someone who already works with children, is capable and comes well-recommended.
So when I let her know of our next planned night out, she let me know she would think about it and get back to me.
What’s that, now? THINK about it?! Don’t you know who you’re dealing with here, sister? Not just anyone gets to watch the Walker kids. They’ve come to expect a certain quality in a sitter.
Sure, this new change will be all right. On paper, she fits the bill just fine. She’ll take care of our kids with expertise and vigilance.
But will she let them soap up her Honda?
Alfred Hitchcock said, “A good film is when the price of the dinner, the theatre admission and the babysitter were worth it.”
With Rachael, they always were.