Babysitting Joys

12 December 2018

I sat in a humid room staring at my homework. My brain felt as if it was overloaded with Algebra equations, while my body felt like I was sitting in a sauna as sweat collected on my back and forehead. I reached across the table to take a sip of my ice-cold water, but instead of water being in the cup, stuck to the bottom was mixture of soaked paper sprinkled with pink and blue glitter across the top and what appeared to be a stirring apparatus sticking out of the gooey liquid. Horrified at the fact that I was almost about to drink the concoction, I yell at the top of my lungs, “ Who did this?!” and immediately after, I heard six little voices simultaneously shout back, “not me!”

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During my junior year of high school, my family began a business that required the adults in my family to work at multiple Farmer’s markets throughout the week. This meant that they weren’t able to watch their children while they went to work and being the oldest, I was officially put in charge of watching the kids.

There are 6 children in total, all under the age of 8 at the time. At the start, I thought babysitting was going to be simple. I was excited and had projects and field trips set up for them, but my role shifted from the children’s friend to their makeshift mother as I was put in charge of cooking their meals, cleaning the house and their messes, bathing them, and correcting their homework. As the year progressed and my AP and Honors course homework became heavier, I could feel myself straining to keep my grades up and at the same time, attend to my responsibilities at home.

My junior year was full of adversity and sacrifices. I was so busy that all my free time was dedicated to homework. This meant no time for friends or extracurricular activities. Receiving C’s on a report card, in my mind, is unacceptable, and receiving a D for the first time in my life that year made me feel absolutely disappointed in myself. I just did not have the time or the energy to do show my potential, but the life lessons I gained from this experience far outweighed the negative points. That year, I learned how to fail and practiced perseverance like no other in order to survive that year, despite the failures. I gained trust from my family members, the love of six children and was able to relive my childhood, something that many people take for granted with the current pressures to grow up and be an adult. Babysitting 6 young children at one time and completing 2 AP and 2 honors classes in one year may seem impossible for some people to do separately. I am proud to say that I have survived and enjoy doing both, even with the occasional surprises in my cup.

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