There’s something about hanging out with kids that makes my heart so light, my smile so much wider.
It’s been almost a week since I started babysitting in the States, as a second job that I actually stumbled upon, when asked if I wanted to do that while at the front desk, during one of my shifts. So here I am, one week later, tired and thrilled, with a thousand stories to tell.
My new best-friends are three boys, ages 3, 6 and 8 and two little girls, 3 and 4. We share our laughter and our bruises, we put band-aids on, wipe away tears, act like big girls or boys, help our younger siblings and don’t pick on them, we draw silly monsters and play wriggle-your-toe-games.
Today I’ll tell you about Em and Tess who live in a wonderful cabin in the woods called the Freiheit Schloss (the freedom palace). From the porch you can see the mountains rising peacefully in the background. Two empty wooden chairs facing the mountains make you feel like you should enjoy that view forever.
Emily is 4, the older sister, all bossy and full of suggestions- like which one of us gets to count and who is going to hide, like what color I should make the dress for the princess I just drew her or how to get the 11 week old Bernese mountain dog to sit on the swing (I insisted he didn’t want that, but she knew better).
Emily’s got curly, dark red hair, dark brown eyes, and Oreo crumbs around the corners of her mouth. Her famous line is “I want it this way because I want it”, which seems pretty hard to reason against.
Tessie is 3, she just turned this magnificent age a couple of weeks ago, so she constantly reminds me of it by holding up three tiny fingers and saying “Tessie three now”. She sometimes speaks a Tessian dialect of her own, which requires a bit of adjustment from my ears, but I’m slowly becoming fluent. She wants to be a big girl, like her 4 year old sister (why did we want to be big when we were little…why?) and she always insists I let her do things by herself “I do it my own self”.
The funniest Tess moment was when I tried to dedicate one Hello Kitty drawing to her and told her I was writing “To Tess, from Mara”, to which she kept going “No, three! Tessie is three.” And then I said “ok, for Tessie, from Mara”. “No, not four, three!” was her come-back.
She likes poking my arm and saying “poke”, she has the cutest big blue eyes behind the smallest pair of glasses and she likes playing the tambourine exactly when we’re getting ready to go to bed and Emily is already sleeping heavily.
One of the days we hung out, I brought my camera along and they really wanted to try it out…so I have a bunch of photos all blurred or quite abstract images of the floor, a pillow, a corner of a chair. Some of them, however, were quite amazing and clear, despite the fact that Tessie was almost tinier than my camera, barely managing to hold it up .
Today the girls wanted to dance, so I took the stereo closer to the porch and we danced in the front yard, on the grass, one pair of big feet and two pairs of small feet. The first CD I found was Bob Dylan’s Nashville Skyline, and there we were, like in some odd wonderful dream I wanted to dream one day, dancing, spinning, waving our arms and jumping, I was whistling and they tried to do the same.
We decided it was perfect music for fairy dances, so we danced as our invisible wings had the best day in ages. And Monty, the pup, was thrilled to be left alone for a while.