Friday, February 21, 2014

#Gratitude365 Day 64 (Part 1) My Babysitter Rocks

#Gratitude365 February 20 2014

I have an awesome babysitter. First I called on her with less than 24 hours notice for something I really should have booked a week before knowing the kids were out of school and I had a Signing Story Time program at Kensington Library. She said she could watch the kids for the hour and half - most babysitters wouldn't want to bother with that little time... the driving 25 minutes each way makes it not worth it - but I was going to be bringing the kids to meetup at a park closer to her. I didn't have the name of the park but explained it was just 2 blocks west of the library and directly off the freeway on Adams Ave. She confirmed that she had looked it up and that it was on the opposite side of the freeway from the library. Yep. Good to go. Or so I thought.

I arrived at the park right on time, 10am. A little miracle in and of itself. I was thinking I might have time to make a Starbucks run before my program. She is generally on time or early. I went to check my phone to see if she'd left me a text saying she was running late. I then realized my phone battery had died. If you wait til your phone is dead before you plug it in to charge, it takes a long time before it has enough of a charge to use any functions, at least when plugged into the car charger. I thought to myself "Maybe I told her 10:15...." so we waited. Still no babysitter and still no way to call or text her or check my messages to see if she had perhaps left a message saying something came up (though that is totally not like her). 10:23 and I have 7 minutes before my program begins. I load the kids up into the car, beg them to understand they need to play at the library playground opposite the area where I have the story time program.... Beg them to understand really means me begging that they behave kindly to each other and do not need to interrupt my program. It has happened before where a sitter has canceled and I've had my kids in tow. Not often, but a handful of times over the nearly 7 years I've been doing this.

We arrive at the library. Kids go to the playground without my prodding them to not follow me back to the grassy knoll where the moms and babies gather for story time. As I am setting up I see my good friend and the kids' former swim instructor, Amelia, from A Splashing Success. She is there with her little girl and asks me if I need help looking after the kids. I quickly tell her how my phone died and I can't find out why my sitter was a no-show and explain that since the kids are all 5yo and older that I think they will do fine. Not 10 minutes into my program, Amberly comes around the corner. She patiently waits until there is a break between book and song and tells me our babysitter has arrived! Apparently there is a park just a block west of where we were and as she was looking at Google Maps, which didn't have our park listed, she missed it completely, waited at the other park, called my husband to ask if we were okay since we hadn't arrived yet. He said we might just be running late because getting the kids ready to go anywhere throws us behind on any best laid plans, but to call back in 5 minutes if we still weren't there. She of course called back and he used the "find my phone" app to tell her we were at the Kensington Library. I'd left my phone in the car to let it continue charging. I wonder if I hadn't and my phone still wasn't charged if the app would have worked?

I'm so grateful for my babysitter who took extra steps to figure out where we were and realized the mis-communication rather than shrugging her shoulders and calling it a day. I'm grateful for technology to be so advanced that my husband could pinpoint where I was and provide the info to our sitter. And I'm so grateful for a friend being in the audience that day, that in the event the kids ended up needing to be supervised I know she would have jumped right in and supported me despite my decline of her initial offer.

Now, I want to explain how the universe worked in this whole charade. First, I had reached out to 3 sitters before I got confirmation back that our favorite one was indeed available and would help me out which got me feeling anxious and worrying what I might do if I couldn't find someone to babysit. I played out a scenario in my mind of bribing them to play on their own at the library playground.... this visualization came true. Second, I considered reaching out to a couple of mom friends to make the big request of taking my 3 munchkins for the hour and a half I needed. A friend who I did not call, ended up showing up. Third, I purposefully did not stop and get coffee before heading down the freeway so I could be on time, thinking that because this was different circumstances than normal, I did not want to even be 2 minutes late in case something weird happened and I needed every possible minute to have a plan B. Forth, when we arrived at the park and I didn't see our sitter immediately, even though I had a full half hour before my program started that was literally 2 minutes away, I began thinking of all the things that could go wrong. That's when I discovered my iPhone battery was dead. Fifth, I wouldn't let the kids go play on the playground while we waited for Milana, "in case I need to round you up and get back in the car" I told them. When we go to the library I first unplugged my phone that still wasn't charged, as is my habit, and went to put it in my pocket, then reconsidered and left it charging in the car. I think that helped with Cory, my husband, being able to track us down. Sixth, I envisioned my kids playing nicely as we drove over to the library. And, Milana said that when she walked up and found them they were doing great, being kind and getting along.

Everything went wrong that I thought about. Everything got fixed that I gave thought to. Isn't it interesting? Do you have a similar story where pieces kept dropping but then something clicked and everything fell into place?