I was going to title this blog post, “The Savior is my sitter,” but it sounded sacrilegious, and even though that’s exactly what this post is about, I didn’t want to make light of something so wonderfully spiritual!
Being a first time mom, letting little Zula be babysat by anyone, even another mom or family member (or both), was at first a little (okay a lot) uncomfortable. I could hardly enjoy being out on a date with my husband at all and I was mega-annoying to the sitter when I’d call every 25 minutes just to make sure everyone was okay. And I’ve heard from other moms that I’m not even abnormal, this is just how we new moms are sometimes.
So you can imagine how much more of a challenge it was for me when I started asking younger neighborhood young women to babysit Zu. What made it easier was that Whit and I coordinated our dates to begin right after Zula went to bed and since she goes down between 6 and 6:30, we’d put her to bed ourselves and kiss her goodnight, answer the door when our sweet Savannah (12-year-old babysitter from up the street) came over, and adios ourselves onto a hot date with minimal trepidation because Zula was sound asleep. I was confident in our system and felt good about letting sweet Savannah guard the door and be ready with our cell phone numbers (which I gave to her 3-5 times before we left each night because, well, that’s just how I am sometimes).
Savannah had been our (almost) weekly babysitter for a while when our ward Young Women had our New Beginnings (I detailed it HERE). She shared a time she felt the Holy spirit, which is one thing we do during our opening exercises. I was surprised when she began by sharing how she sometimes babysits Zula. I was caught off guard by her message and very touched and I hope I share this right as I’m not certain I remember the specifics, being overcome a little. But as far as I can remember she said that Zula had woken up when she was babysitting. Savannah said she cried and cried and I’d told her that if Zula did wake up to just let her fuss for a minute or two and she’d fall back asleep. This is what usually happens, but Zula didn’t fall back asleep this time. Savannah didn’t know what to do. She said something like, “Meg usually tells me everything I need to do but she didn’t tell me what to do in this case!” Savannah went into Zu’s room and remembered about the binky (oh how we love you, little binky). she dug through the blankets and finally found it, gratefully giving it to Zula. Zula, however, didn’t want the binky and began to cry harder. Now Savannah REALLY didn’t know what to do. And what she does next has solidified her as Zula’s permanent babysitter, the babysitter for any future children of ours, and my personal caregiver when I’m 94. When Zula cried harder after receiving the binky, Savannah prayed. She told Heavenly Father everything and asked what she should do.
You know that song from the LDS hymnal, Dearest Children, God is Near You? It sings about children like Zula and Savannah and situations like this one. As soon as she prayed, Savannah heard the message straight from heaven itself telling her exactly what she needed to do: sing primary songs. Savannah didn’t know that I sing primary songs to Zula all the time, she just knew which direction to go and as she sang, Zula quieted, laid down, and fell back asleep.
Dearest children, God is near you,
Watching o’er you day and night,
And delights to own and bless you,
If you strive to do what’s right.
He will bless you, He will bless you,
If you put your trust in him.
Savannah puts her trust in the the Savior, allowing Him to show her, me, and now you, that He really is watching over our children (and our babysitters who watch over them). And I feel so truly lucky to have a babysitter who is willing to partner with the Lord to watch over my baby.
After I heard this experience, I had no qualms whatsoever leaving the two of them together so we could go on a much longer date to the movie premiere for Falling Up. Savannah and Zula were alone for hours because we had to drive all the way to Heber, watch the movie and do all that fun stuff, and drive all the way back. Savannah played with Zula and fed her dinner, and put her to bed herself.
I’ve known for a long time that God loves us – all of us – and watches over us as we, His children, do what we can to care for each other in our different capacities. He will help us when we need help. and I am so happy to have a babysitter who knows that, too!