Ode to our marvelous, exceptional, lovely, talented, intelligent babysitters. I LOVE THEM.

On Tuesday we had a pretty normal day. The air conditioning went out (we always forget to change our filters, so this happens with some regularity), and so I sat in my chair/lay on my bed sweating while the babysitter took care of the kids.

If we move to Texas, Abe and I both have things we will miss. He will miss being close to his family, and that has been the primary emotional counterweight for him. I’m sure the kids will miss their wonderful grandparents too.

If we move to Dallas, I will miss the amazing babysitters we have. Right now we rotate through eight exceptional young women, each of whom is more impressive than the next. I feel like I’m watching¬†The Twelve Dancing Princesses make the rounds–each young woman is so beautiful, vibrant, creative, fun, and good with the kids. Ammon cries when Abe comes home and takes him away from the babysitter o’ the day, and the girls wait breathlessly by the door for these girls’ arrivals. Today Ammon heard that it was almost time for the babysitter to come and scrambled to the window shouting, “AMMA! AMMA!” (Emma! Emma!”).

Also, I remember what it was like before we discovered babysitters. I was going totally crazy, felt really isolated (it didn’t help that for part of that time period I didn’t have access to a car), and honestly looked forward to late night trips to the grocery store just so I could have some peace of mind. Whenever I wonder why I enrolled in cooking school, I make myself remember how trapped I felt at home without any time to myself, and then the lightbulb goes off. If I were to go back in time, I would sit down with my former self and say, “Self, you don’t need cooking school. You just need to invest in regular babysitters. In the end, that will be a lot cheaper than cooking school AND you will get what you really want: Time alone!”

Good babysitters have changed my life. Abe and I can go on dates whenever we want! I can have time alone if I need it!¬†I can be on bedrest. That would not be possible without these incredible young women, all of whom are in walking distance and don’t need to be picked up or driven back to their houses. They also are extremely affordable, considering the supply/demand ratio of young women to families that actually use babysitters. (In Utah, most young families just rely on their nearby relatives, but since my mom lives with us and already helps out a TON with the kids, we try never to leave her alone with the kids when we go out, the only exception being if the kids are already in bed and all they need is an adult physically in the house while they sleep.)

Anyway, I was feeling fine about Texas and felt like I could leave Utah without sentiment weighing me down (especially knowing we will be back in two-three years), but then I considered the babysitter situation and literally almost cried. I am sure there are great young women in Texas, but I highly doubt I will find EIGHT exceptional young women within walking distance of my house–plus more that I have never had to call because one of the eight has always been available. Having so many babysitters means there is almost never a problem lining up an outing (except when there is a youth church event on a weekday evening, and then, if it’s a gender-specific event, I also have had great babysitting experiences with several of the amazing young men in the ward).

So, in sum, I am now in the veto-the-Texas-move camp, although I will support a move if Abe negotiates some sort of screaming deal. Normally, I adore moving and fresh starts–and Texas sounds so fun! But having considered the babysitter situation and what my life could be like when this disappears, I would infinitely prefer just to stay in Utah for now. I love staying at home with my kids, but I am now spoiled by being able to leave my kids whenever I need a break, and I can’t imagine how I would function without that in my life. No thanks.

(And I forgot to take pictures yesterday, hence this picture-free ode instead of the usual cataloguing of the day.)