The kids had their first babysitter tonight. Not family, not friends, but an actual paid babysitter.
In December I asked one of the girl's preschool teachers if she ever did childcare outside of the school. She is a lovely young woman. Someone who I have watched with the girl and all the other students and been impressed with her patience and care. She was someone I thought I could trust. That I would be comfortable leaving my kids with.
She said she did. That she babysat for a number of other families but that she would be happy to babysit for us if she was free. The next week I gave her a list of ten different times in January that would work for us. I told her to pick whichever worked for her.
We talked to the girl and the boy all day about the babysitter. The girl was excited. I was unsure about the boy since he has been weary of new people lately. Maybe he remembered her from the girl's school or maybe he was just happy because the girl was happy but he was sitting on the babysitter's lap when we left.
I felt a bit hysterical walking away from the house. Like I couldn't believe what was happening. That we had a whole three hours of time to spend together before we had to be back. We ended up sitting at a restaurant reading our magazines while we ate. It was wonderful to sit together. It was even better to be together and not talk. Not talk business or schedules or worries. Just to be in each other's company and read.
The house was quiet when we got home. Everyone was sitting at the kitchen table eating the homemade pizza I had left in the fridge for the babysitter to cook. The kids were happy. They had had a wonderful time.
I feel a bit giddy now. Giddy with happiness that it went so well. Giddy with joy to have gotten some much needed time away from the kids. Giddy with hope that she will babysit for us again.