We didn't really have t-shirts when I was a kid. We had undershirts but they were mainly for boys and they were worn under regular shirts. T-shirts didn't hit the southern fashion kits until I was in late high school and they were tie dyed. Knit fabric was for underwear only.
My brother, sister and I loved babysitters and my parents loved their adult time. They amassed for us, a lovely tribe of sitters from which to pick. We loved most of them but we each had our favs. All of them were high school or younger - teen aged girls. And such fun. Really. We would beg Mother and Daddy to go out and hire us a sitter.
My first hardest decision ever involved a baby sitter. We had gone to the mountains for the weekend and were staying in the cool old inn. Mother and Daddy had tickets to an outdoor play (Horn in the West) and had hired a baby sitter to come stay with us at the inn. And then, they sat me down. Since I was so old now, they were giving me a choice. If I wanted, they would take me to the play with them. WHAT?REALLY? OMG. This was huge. Such an adult thing! (I was maybe 10.) Made all the sweeter because I was old enough and my little sister and brother were not. Superiority recognized. (Yep, a definite theme.) BUT, a baby sitter! I'd miss getting to play with a new baby sitter in a hotel room. What in the world could be more fun than that.
It was such a hard decision that I can feel the weight of it even today. I wrestled with the pros and cons as it it were world peace. I finally decided to go to the play. It was a good decision but such a tough one.
I read every Nancy Drew book the minute it was released. They cost $1 and I saved up so I wouldn't miss one. I also read every Bobsey Twins and Cherry Ames Student Nurse.
At 12, I was old enough to volunteer as a Candy Striper - with a real uniform. I was a BFD if ever there was one. My post was at a home for disabled (called handicapped and worse back then) children. Most were non verbal and very sad but the staff treated them with such care and respect that I learned that was how to do it. The kids with Downs Syndrome (we actually really did call them Mongoloids) were the sharpest of the bunch. They were so fun and funny. I loved them so very much. My favorite was Billy. I later, in Junior High, wrote a short story about Billy and it won a couple of school awards.
Pretty amazing considering that today my interest in children is pretty non existent and I have zero patience for anything medical. I loved working with those kids and loved being their Candy Striper.
And now, full circle.... Starting about that same time, I was the one hired to do the baby sitting. I was in high demand. I made good money at it. I am more than a little astounded now to think back about how young, innocent and not very bright I was and people gave me their children to mind? And left me alone in their house with their refrigerator. But, hey, it happened. And, as far as I know, most, if not all of the kids survived.
To Be Continued