I’m not around kids all that much – that is Sally’s daily realm – so it was a treat that I got to babysit two darling sisters Saturday night. Though three and a half years apart, they were so alike with their big crazy hair and sweet personalities. I know people always say this, but kids are funny. Especially when they are around new people… I mean, I haven’t seen two people more excited to meet me than these girls were. They informed me that I looked and talked just like “Miss. Miller” (they both go to the school Sally teaches at) and that they liked the shoes I was wearing (probably because they had seen Miss. Miller wearing them).
I was pretty entertained the whole night… Listening to them banter back and forth over pizza, watching them parade in various dress up clothes with super serious faces, and helping them pick out matching nightgowns to wear to bed. The best part of the night was when they both told me that they loved me and that they really wanted me to come back and babysit them again. Melted. I of course told them that I loved them too and that I would be back sooner rather than later.
At first I thought, “Only sweet and innocent children can make declarations of love that quickly and honestly,” but then I tried to remember back to the first time I met some of my most favorite people – people that I genuinely love – and even if I didn’t say “I love you” at the time I definitely knew right off the bat that I liked them a whole lot and that we were destined to be friends. Sometimes you just know. Maybe love at first sight can apply to friends as well as significant others.
And if I’m going to be honest (and this is Toast Talk, so of course I am going to be honest) for all the people I’ve met and known, “hey I like you, let’s be friends!” I’ve probably met just as many people and immediately not clicked with them. That sounds terrible, doesn’t it. Maybe a lot of you are shaking your heads and saying that I judge too quickly, that I don’t give people the benefit of the doubt. But hear me out… We all have different personalities – we can’t be expected to connect with every person we meet – and really I don’t think that makes us bad people. You don’t have to be best friends with everyone; you just have to have respect for everyone. For me, being a “grown up” means spending more time with the people I love and want to hang out with and less time worrying about being buddy-buddy with everyone I meet. There’s no benefit in being fake friends.
Little people and their somewhat simplistic lives make for such good reminders of how I should try to act… My sweet new friends made me realize that I could work on having better manners (“Yes, mam” and “no thank you”), that I should have a disciplined early bedtime so my hyper energy doesn’t keep me awake, and that I should really say “I love you” a little more spontaneously when I really mean it. And now I understand why Sally always seems so much more sweet and loving than me – she gets to be around darling little people all day, every day!