I have a sweet high-school student who comes in and helps us out during the insane time of 5-7 p.m. For those of you who don't have children, or have forgotten, this is the time of day when a mother would rather rip out her own toenails than be alone with her demanding children. A time when EVERYONE is at their wits' end and nothing can get done fast enough.
We hired this babysitter back in August during the period between when my sister left and our Brown student returned for the fall. She came to the interview with her mother and I hired the girl the next day. She started that evening and has worked with us ever since.
So, a couple of weeks ago, we had this conversation:
Babysitter: My mom wants to come visit and see the babies again. Is that okay?
Me: Sure. Can she take one home with her? Ha..Ha...
Babysitter: I'm sure she would. When we met you, we were surprised at how nice you are.
Me: What do you mean?
Babysitter: Well, when we saw your house we just thought you were probably snobs.
Me: Well, I had to clean the place up otherwise you never would have come to work for us.
This conversation surprised me. By no stretch of the imagination is our house high-end. While it is true that over the last six years I've turned this house from the grandmother-special my husband inherited to something more to my liking, the bulk of the money we've poured into it has been for structural/environmental changes. (New windows, a rebuilt chimney, and a new boiler to name a few.) It certainly didn't cost us much to rip off all the wallpaper and slap some paint on the walls but I guess it did make a difference.
Whatever the reason, our babysitter's comment really meant a lot to me. There's still a lot to be done in this house (isn't there always?) but I finally feel like this place is my home and I am happy here. Her statement wasn't a direct compliment but I will take it, nonetheless.
Oh yeah, and I am a nice person too.