Rachel had her first paid babysitting gig on Saturday. She babysat for one of her former teachers. Mrs. Cox has two “precious” children (quote by Rachel). One is four and the other is seven months. Ms. Cox said Rachel could come and play with her son while she did some work around the house. She said she would pay her. I didn’t think this was necessary because the training provided was better than money!
Rachel took the job very seriously. She had taken the Safe Sitter Course back at spring break and had helped a friend on a sort of practice run but this was her first real gig. Friday she came home and found her Safe Sitter book. I could hear her in her room for almost 1 1/2 hours going over every line of what it said. Then she came to me and said “We need to make an information sheet for Ms. Cox to complete.” It’s the sheet with phone numbers, information about the children, etc. She wanted to know if I could help make one. I told her that Mrs. Cox would be there so she didn’t really need the sheet. If Rachel knows and understands the rules, she follows them and this was one of the rules. So, nope it didn’t matter that she would be there. We quickly made a sheet. Then we looked around the house to find an appropriate toy to take with her to play with the little boy. He had toys but something different is always good. She said it shouldn’t have small pieces because he might choke. Correct you are, I told her. We found a Captain America that wast perfect. She gathered everything together so it would be ready Saturday morning.
I delivered her job and took some pictures. The baby girl was mesmerized by Rachel. She watched her intently. The little boy was so excited – his mom said he got up at 6:30. I headed home. On my ride home I got to thinking of how cool it was that Mrs. Cox has confidence in Rachel. She knew it would be a mommy and me kind of experience and she would be helping Rachel learn. I got to thinking about the people in my life when I was young that had confidence in me. The main ones who came to mind were my 4-Leaders Mae Ann and Wayne. Their confidence still inspires me and truly made a difference in my life. I thought about the 4-H families I had worked with through the years who thanked me for having confidence in their kids and the kids who had thanked me. I thought about what a difference it makes to believe that people believe in you. I thought of how Rachel will need people to give her a chance and give her a little more help with things like babysitting. I thought about how blessed we have been to have so many good teachers both at schools, church, dance, theater and beyond and so many good role models who have had confidence in her.
Mrs. Cox brought Rachel home and Rachel excitedly told me about helping to change a diaper (“It’s different than Baby Sally, Mommy!”) She told me that she made some money and then she hopped in the house. Mrs. Cox assured me that it was a great morning and they would do it again. She said on the way home Rachel pulled out her Safe Sitter book because she wanted to check off that she had done things right. Apparently she had missed something because she said, “Mrs. Cox, do you have any drugs in your house?” Mrs. Cox said no and that her mom wouldn’t let her come there if she had drugs. That’s my girl though. She is going to follow those rules!
Thanks Mrs. Cox and all the other Mrs. Coxes along the journey who have had and will have confidence in Rachel!
This also made me think of “Children Learn What They Live”. When I worked with 4-H kids, I always kept a copy in my office as a reminder! On the chance someone hasn’t seen it – here it is.
If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.
Copyright © 1972 by Dorothy Law Nolte