SAC Kids
Leah, Age 13, Kitchener, ON

Cindy took a deep, shuddering breath as she shouldered her bag and shakily turned to her mom.

“I'll be home at five,” she said. Little did she know it then, but her life was about to become very busy.

Then she faced the road, muttering to herself. ‘It’s only babysitting. You’ve known the Kings all your life. Who c-cares if it’s your v-very first babysitting job?’ She gulped. So many things could go wrong. What if they didn’t like her? What if there’s an accident and she doesn’t know what to do? What if…Cindy was freaking herself out, but it could happen.

She was at the hill now. Halfway up was the corner where she had to wait for Shawn and Aaron’s bus. Cindy stood there, waiting, staring at one thing or another to suppress the feeling of nervousness she felt so sharply.

When the boys came, Cindy smiled and went up to their house with them. She had planned a list of everything to do with the boys, but in the end she just chucked it all away and went with the flow. They played Cops and Robbers, making up a couple of their own rules instead of playing the traditional way. All in all, it was a great first day, Cindy thought.

Every Monday to Thursday Cindy went to baby sit, although some days she had basketball or a dentist appointment. The Cops and Robbers episode lasted a long time, each day being ‘paused’ until the next time and nobody ever really winning. And by the time everything had calmed down and Shawn and Aaron wanted a new game, Cindy had a million games ready for approval. They played popular games, like Blind Man’s Bluff, tag, and Hide-and-Seek; sometimes they even made up their own games to play, or modified others.

Each day Cindy came to the house all three of them thought of a new game to play. Cindy was at her wits end when Shawn got a new video game.

At first she was really happy. No straining her already-sore head trying to think of how to entertain the boys! But sitting watching two kids play Nintendo soon gets boring. Not Cindy’s idea of fun. Cindy tried everything to lure them away from the TV. She suggested games, trips to the park, bike rides, everything, but nothing ever worked. She couldn’t do anything to tear them away from ‘the tube,’ especially Shawn. What was she going to do?

One day Cindy called Shawn and Aaron over to the living room.

“Do you want to see a trick a professional juggler showed me?” she asked.

“Sure,” they answered listlessly, waiting for the moment when they could dash back to their beloved TV.

Cindy grabbed a nearby broom and balanced it on her chin, as she knelt down and clapped her hands softly.

“Oi, oi, oi!” she cried, pretending to be a seal.

The boys squealed and ran to grab more brooms, or rakes, or anything they could lay their hands on.

“I want to try!”

Quite tickled by their attempts to be circus seals, Cindy suggested that they tried balancing with their hands first. Soon they were moving on to one finger.

By the time they’d mastered that, their parents were home, and Cindy had to leave.

“We’ll try again tomorrow!” she promised Aaron.

That day Cindy literally skipped down the road to her house.

She’d finally done it! Not only had she lured away from the TV, but also they’d had lots of fun with her at the same time! The next day the boys raced off the bus, grabbed Cindy’s arm, and proposed a circus. She dubiously agreed, not really sure it would work.

The boys cheered and ran to the house, chanting ‘circus, circus, we’re going to do a circus!’

They made a routine, with them as clowns. There was balancing, dancing, singing and clown-like foolishness. And, best of all, thought Cindy, it was fun!

It took the whole week to prepare, and at the end of it,

Cindy, Shawn and Aaron presented it to Mr. and Mrs. King. It must have been boring for the parents, Cindy knew, but they still clapped and laughed throughout the whole thing. Aaron was very pleased with the professional tickets he gave to his parents. And who cared about the small problems they encountered? They were stars!

Once again, Cindy was skipping home, and it wasn’t even Pay Day!

Unable to put a stop to show biz, Cindy and the boys planned all sorts of things to do…plays, adventure shows, a French café with fake food, a medieval tournament, a magic show, and Indian show, and an underwater skit. When they ran out of ideas, Cindy or Shawn could always think of something. For instance, the comedy show started when Shawn and Aaron started fighting, and saying things like:

“You’re so stupid you called the operator and asked for the number for 911!” or “You’re so fat that if you put on a yellow coat and run outside, people follow you yelling TAXI!”

Cindy fell over laughing at this, whereupon Aaron asked indignantly, ‘What’s so funny?!’ And when she told him, a comedy show was started. They even made a day, all for them!

When Cindy’s first year of babysitting drew to a close, she was very upset. After all, next year was grade eight, and it was going to be too hard and busy to watch the kids.

Their last day was SAC Day. It was a sunny day in June, June 24th to be exact. They went to the park and played all sorts of games, had a picnic snack, and then watched the clouds soar overhead. Everyone went home both happy and sad. SAC Kids had disbanded.

Looking back on those days as a SAC member, Cindy knew she’d never have another job like that. SAC Kids and their relationships with each other was unique and priceless.

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