We have been blessed with a number of babysitters at our finger tips. I have had old students who were my third graders and are now 8th and 9th graders itching to make money. We also have been so lucky to have two young ladies live next door that are super babysitters. Isn't that the ultimate..to know their parents are around plus you don't have to drive them home! So we have had babysitters for Charley but we haven't really left Henry. I hate to admit this also but we haven't had anyone put Henry to bed yet. Not even a grandma (our parents live too far away to be the last minute babysitter and when we do go visit them we want to spend time with them too so we don't take them up on going out)...weird I know but it just has worked that our life now revolves around our boys. Soon we have a night when we need a babysitter that will put both boys to bed. So tonight I had the girl next door come over for a quick training session and then I actually slipped out without Henry noticing and let her put both boys to bed. I figure I will be able to relax that much more knowing she has one night under her belt.
So she came over, I gave her the run through, and then I left so they could play. After some playing she put Henry down and then Charley. Then she called me and I returned home to a quiet house.
She did it! She said Henry cried for a bit when she first put him in but then went right to sleep. Which is how he usually goes to sleep.
The thing about babysitters...I was a babysitter and now being on the other end and being the mom who is leaving the most precious thing in the whole world with a 14 or 15 year old...I am amazed that parents of three children left me to put them all to bed and that I didn't stress or worry about it. After Henry was first born and Ed had to travel I was so worried about doing it by myself. And even now the occasional night when one of us has to be gone it can often play as this big event in my head. Yes, I know kids often do better for others, but still! A 14 year old doesn't hesitate to take it on and is confident in encouraging me to go because she will be able to handle it.
I told our babysitter that tonight was a huge moment for me and as I sat at the coffee shop thinking...what is happening now at home...I realized that if this goes smoothly my husband and I might actually be able to see more movies, go on more dates, and be normal adults again. I think tomorrow I will have a skip in my step knowing "going out" is possible. And best of all...I paid her, thanked her, and watched her walk home. I didn't have to get back in the cold car and drive her home. Even if our nightlife doesn't really change, and we still opt to put our boys to bed and just relax at home....it is knowing that we have resources and that those resources will gift us the freedom to do what we wish for a few hours occasionally in the evening.