Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Grand Sitter

One of the things that has come more apparent as Heather and I have had children is how far our family lives away from us. Most of our friends have a sibling or parent who live close by or at least a parent who is retired and can come stay the week when needed. Heather and I have no immediate family within an hour drive which means that "stop by" help is almost non-existant. We are blessed by having Heather's best friend since she was born, Suzanne, living just 20 minutes away and she is Anna's primary caretaker outside of us generally.

In this age where grandparents involvement in the raising of their grandchildren is becoming even more commonplace, this has had me at times feel jealous that we don't have that situation. It has never become more apparent than it is as we plan to have our second little girl any day now. Many of our friends, when this happens, will not have to ask other friends to be on call while they have a parent who can be around or stay with them. In general, Suzanne is our one single contact for taking care of Anna while Heather is in the hospital and she has been gracious enough to keep her schedule as clear as possible. Because the doctor is telling us we have to make it quickly to the hospital due to Heather's already advanced stages and history with Anna, we have my close friend John on call just two miles down the road to come and take care of Anna should Heather go into labor again at night. We also have a variety of other friends willing to be called, as well as another set of friends, Andy and Kristen, on call this Saturday when Suzanne is out of town. I recently programmed four close neighborhood stay at home mom's phone numbers into my cell phone so I could quickly reach them if needed. If all else fails, we will take Anna to the hospital with us and hope someone can meet us there to take care of her.

As you can see from that long description of our action plan just to take care of Anna, we are blessed with many local friends who can help but at the same time don't have that simple "call mom to come" type plan that others have. When it comes to having a regular sitter, Heather's family is only about an hour away which is too far to babysit while Heather and I go on a date for example. Other friends of ours have siblings and we are blessed to have Suzanne who is closer to us than many of those friend's siblings. But I see, for example, the situation my sister is in having my mother there and two retired in-laws all to gladly help with one wonderful 6 year old girl. We have other friends in the neighborhood who also have more than one set of parents not to mention siblings local to call on. I do realize we are blessed with our friends who we can call on and I am very thankful for that...but it still would be nice to have the Grand Sitter around when needed :-)

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