This is my second post of a five-part series on what vulnerability looks like in my everyday life. Sometimes, I’m being vulnerable; other times, I’m reacting to someone else’s vulnerability. Both have required a lot of courage.
I hope they resonate with you and inspire you to live more vulnerably, too!
When Sibyl, the five-year-old girl I babysit, asked me if I would still nanny her next year, I didn’t know if I should tell the truth and say no.
I started babysitting Sibyl less than a month after her mom passed away and I didn’t want her to worry about the transition when I left. I remembered how upset I was when my first and longest-lasting babysitter quit. I cried a lot and threw many tantrums. With the added trauma of her mother’s passing, how would Sibyl react?
I didn’t know, but lying about it was out of the question. One of my closest friends and mentors who recently turned 70 has always answered me truthfully, no matter how personal or naïve my question. Her ability to be honest with me, despite being 45 years my senior, has always made me feel respected, safe, and loved. It is part of why I admire and love her so much, and is also what I strive for when I’m with the kids.
“No, I don’t think so,” I said to Sibyl. “I might babysit you on the weekend sometimes, but I won’t pick you up from school everyday like I do now.”
“Why?” She asked.
“I’m going to go to school.”
She put her fingers on her temple like she was thinking really hard.
“Is it…the thing they call grat-choo-it school?”
“Yep, except it’s pronounced graduate school.”
She giggled and then ran towards the garage to “deliver a magical rock to the laboratory”. She yelled for me to follow her. I don’t know what will happen on my last day, but I think we’re in a good place for now.