Today my mother told me a “little” girl I used to babysit reads my blog.  (Hey, sweetie!)  I was surprised, but so touched that she would take the time to read the ramblings of her former babysitter and even like it enough to read parts of it to her mom.

Because she’s actually not so little anymore (sorry, sweetie, you’ll always be little to me–babysitter’s privilege) and doing wonderful things with art and her life, I got to thinking about her and all the kids I used to babysit and teach.  I’m very lucky, living basically in the same area I always have.  It lets me see these incredible young people grow up and be AMAZING.

I’m also lucky I didn’t screw them up.  I was a MESS when I was a teenager and a less than effective teacher as an adult.  I did my best, but the fact that I didn’t hurt the children I cared for in those times is one of the small graces that I am grateful for every day.

Still, I don’t often have the opportunity to talk to these amazing children (some are adults now) and tell them how I still watch them, how I never stopped.  I may not be there asking them to share, or teaching them to read, or jumping on the trampoline with them, but I am still anxiously engaged in watching them grow and discover.  I can’t kiss or hug away their hurts, clean bloodied knees, or pout over a bruise, but I still ache to make their lives safer and happier.

So now that I know at least one of these fantastic kids reads my blog (and hopefully others), I am taking the opportunity to say it.  And one more thing, too.  The most important thing.

I am PROUD of you.*

Love love love,

me

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*Quick, go find someone to hug you for me.  That should (and will, if you’re near enough) always be said with a hug.

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