Adam is the guy who has kept his horses here for several years. It's worked out well for all of us: He gets to keep his horses less than two miles away from his home, and we get a little extra money.
Adam got married not so long ago, and he and his wife found themselves expecting a baby. It wasn't what they had planned, but you know how things sometimes happen.
I got to thinking how wonderful it would be to have a baby in our lives, so I broached the subject to Cliff: "What would you think about us babysitting Adam's baby? We've sold the motorcycle, and we're not likely to be traveling; your sciatica acts up if we travel over a hundred miles in the car. We're pretty much stuck at home anyway."
Cliff jumped on the idea like a dog on a bone. Trouble is, I was afraid to approach Adam with my idea. "What if he has somebody else in mind? Would he feel obligated to accept our proposal, even if he had somebody else in mind?"
So I mentioned the idea to my ex-daughter-in-law and my granddaughter. They are related to Adam, and I thought maybe they could approach him with the idea.
They sort of agreed to run the idea past him, but it never happened.
So one day when Adam was out here messing with his horses, I got up the nerve to ask him if he had a babysitter in mind for their little bundle of joy. He didn't. I told him Cliff and I would be glad to watch their baby, and he seemed happy with the idea. I promised him we would spoil "it" (later "it" turned out to be "her").
When we found out we were going to be babysitting Cora, we were elated. We talked about how much fun it would be. I told Cliff that if I had to, I would give up the cows and chickens, just for this opportunity. If the baby took up a lot of my time, I would give up the garden for a year or two. We were ready for anything.
We still are. I think we probably do spoil Cora a little, because I am not one to let a baby cry. If I have to walk the floor with her, so be it. If I need to rock her until she goes to sleep, wonderful! It feels good to have a baby in my arms. We really don't have that much going on around here, so when Cora is here, she is our number one priority. Of course we get some money in the deal, but honestly, I don't even count on the money. It surprises me when Cora's mom says, "How much do I owe you?"
Because it really isn't about the money.
Cora makes us laugh. She warms our hearts. This has been a match made in heaven. Sometimes I almost have to pinch myself, because I can't believe we are lucky enough to have someone trust us with their precious baby. She will move on eventually, of course. When she does, we may be putting out the word on the local grapevine that we are looking for another infant to babysit. Hey, if you can't afford to travel and have to stay home, you may as well be doing something you enjoy.
When you are as old as we are, and have been through a few kids, grandkids, and kids you babysat, you realize how short the time is. Is the baby fussy because she has colic, or she's teething, or maybe "somebody" spoiled her a little? It doesn't matter, because in a few weeks or months she'll be over it and will be giving you hundreds of hugs and kisses. Life is so short!