I was lucky enough over the summer to be able to quit the worst job in the world in favor of the best job in the world; babysitting. Besides the obvious perks, more money, better hours, more flexibility and diversity, I also get to hang out with some pretty kick ass kids. What’s more, they are hilarious, cute, and I find (probably to the chagrin of my friends) myself telling stories about what one of them said or did that day.
Now, I would never broadcast anything about anyone else’s child over the internet. But! I can give them aliases with no real information. So here’s my first installment. I obviously have to name this segment after one of my favorite movies as a kid.
Miss Dashwood, Miss Woodhouse, and Miss Burns are sisters all pretty similar in age. They are a very lively bunch. I love them.
So, today Miss Dashwood came downstairs with her new stuffed fox that she acquired sometime between semesters (her mother is a grad student, which is why she needs me). I complimented the toy, considered breaking into a round of Ylvis before deciding that’s a bit douchey, and then recalled a little story about a fox.
As a counselor at Fleur-de-Lis Camp one of my duties was to patrol in order to make sure that the kids stayed in bed after Taps. Essentially this requires us to stand around in the mosquitoes waiting for all the campers to quiet down so we can head in to our respected living areas and goof around for a couple hours before we, too, hit the hay. In the senior field, where this story takes place, the tents (platform tents, we’re not literally “camping” here) are arranged in two semi circles with a large pathway through the middle, one leading down to the bathrooms and the other out to the road. One night while on patrol I was minding my own business chatting with another counselor when suddenly she got a look of complete terror. “Don’t turn around,” she said, her voice shaking. My first thought was that Jason Voorhees was behind me, clearly. My second thought turned to some sort of bear or even one of the coyotes we can hear in the distant woods sometimes. So, despite the warning, I clearly turned around. Slowly, precisely, and with the smallest amount of movement possible. Behind me was a fox. A tiny little cute thing just staring at me while standing stock still. I was not afraid of this fox. It clearly meant me no harm and was basically adorable so I turned around fully and the little thing scampered away. End of story.
This is not exactly the sort of story that needs to be passed for the ages; just a small anecdote about something that had come up. In the “I saw a fox once” fashion. Had I been with an adult they wouldn’t have even registered this as something to even keep in their brain for more than the eight seconds it would take to come up with a new topic of conversation. The Misses Dashwood, Burns, and Woodhouse, however, screamed with laughter. They were all smiles. They even acted the scenario out six or seven times alternating who played which role; Miss Lindsay, other counselor (honestly I can’t remember who it was, if it was you and you’re reading this, let me know), and the fox. “Don’t turn around,” they practiced saying the way I had, with my voice shaking in mock fright. The fox, when played by them, was all smiles.
Eventually they moved on to something else, as children do, but sure enough whwn their dad came to pick them up they were all shrieking “Guess what happened to Miss Lindsay!”
The world is just a better place when seen through little eyes.