My friends with teenage kids say "wait until your girls are teenagers". A lot. Apparently there is a metamorphosis that takes place when a child becomes a teenager. The cute little caterpillar child turns into a gigantic ugly moth that knocks you down and chews holes in your sweaters. How very frightening.
I have a hard time believing these parents. I have one very special teenager in my life, and I know for a fact, she would not chew a hole in my sweater. At least on purpose. My niece, Amanda.
Amanda is smart, funny and very sociable (except for the pizza guy that one time). She is also very adventurous. She water skis, wake boards, rides dirt bikes, ATVs and snowmobiles. If there is an activity that could possibly break a limb, she wants in. She's tough. She's 13.
She is my teenage babysitter.
When Madeline was diagnosed with diabetes, I wasn't sure how Amanda would feel about babysitting. She would need to be able to test blood sugars and follow the strict rules that applied to Madeline's care. Most teenage babysitters are not equipped, nor want, that kind of responsibility.
She did not hesitate to help. She learned blood sugar testing immediately and listened to my speech about diabetes and the care that had to be given. She understood this was not just a parent being overly protective. This was serious business.
She approached diabetic babysitting like a new adventure. This would be something she could do, and was determined to be good at it. It worked. When she babysits, I get to have a few hours of me time, and know my girls will be safe and having tons of fun. That does not come easily these days.
I can only hope my children follow in the footsteps of Amanda. That is, as long as she doesn't morph into a gigantic moth and attack us.