Dates With Hope

When interviewing caregivers, we always ask about the most challenging and rewarding aspects of each job they’ve held with a family. We won’t talk about the challenging parts today, but I can say that almost every time the candidates share that nothing is more rewarding than the relationships they build with the kids.

I started babysitting this sweet girl when I was in college and she was three. At the time she had two brothers and now she has 4 siblings just like me–I always knew we were kindred spirits!

In recent years I hardly babysit for her family anymore, but try to schedule occasional dates to remain consistent in her life. Whether a quick bike ride to the coy pond or an afternoon walk for a treat, it always feels very meaningful.

I cannot believe she’s almost ten! On our most recent date, Hope was glowing in this white lace dress and little wedges, donning a sparkly clutch and the biggest smile. I definitely felt underdressed in my summer dress and metallic Birkenstocks. We obviously had to go to Savoy for her favorite Turkey Fritters and visit the bulk bins at a local health food store for dessert.

We chatted about sibling dynamics, braces, and the floral shop she wants to open one day. There’s something so special about one-on-one time, especially when you go somewhere fun. I remember going on “dates” with my dad growing up and loving every part of it–the anticipation, the outfit, the conversations and the uniqueness of that time together.

Halfway through dinner, Hope pulled this shell out of her purse and gave it to me. My heart melted. What a sweet reminder of the importance of consistency in kids’ lives and how precious these relationships are that we build.

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