When I came home from work today, the twins were in their jammies cuddled in front of the fireplace playing with their new stuffed cats "Butter" & "Sugar." V ran in from the living room to greet me with her playmate F (Babysitter’s daughter) in tow smiling and calling out "MAMA! MAMA!" Babysitter was sitting and reading a book aloud to all the playing kids. It was peaceful and quiet and orderly. It felt like home.
Our babysitter is a woman around my age, who is almost my exact opposite in beliefs, temperament, and life experience. She’s an outspoken Christian, a high school graduate who married young and who, except for babysitting jobs, has stayed home with her kids since they were born (her oldest is now 16 – her youngest is 18 months). Her demeanor, when I first met her, seemed almost too mousy and shy and I nearly crossed her off the list of possible sitters.
Unlike me, she’s reticent to express her opinions loudly, swear, or say mean things about overly cheerful neighbors. She’s kind, patient, and very soft-spoken. And I’m honored that she watches my children for me while I work, even though I’m a potty-mouthed heathen who is going to Hell.
In her gentle, soft way, she’s taught me a great deal about the joys of laid back parenting. Her style is Type Z. There are no overachieving flashcards, or reading of developmental psychology books in her world. She leads the kids with quiet authority, believes in good manners and obedience, and doesn’t feel obliged to engage the kids in "enriching activities," preferring to let them play imaginative games independently.
She’s my kind of girl.
And even when she talks about Jesus, I just smile and say "Oh? Is that right?"