This weekend we’ve got Anna. She’s staying with us for the whole weekend. The girls are beyond excited! When I told them she was coming they ran around the house screaming we’ve got Anna, we’ve got Anna!
So just who is this Anna?
Anna is a part of the JMJ Catholic Home School Co-op. (JMJ is a group of families striving to live and love like the Holy Family, hence the name JMJ which stands for Jesus, Mary and Joseph.) Anna’s mom and I met in the co-op. I instantly had a connection with her; she’s a convert to the Catholic faith too. She has a great story to tell about being a evangelical protestant working at Franciscan (Catholic) University but it has nothing to do with this post so I’ll move on.
At the time that I met Anna, Sarah had just moved away to attend college and I was looking for a good babysitter so I checked her out at once. Funny thing is, she was checking out my girls as well. Turns out she saw them at daily mass one day and told her mom she’d like to babysit them (must have been one of the rare times Ella was behaving in mass :-)). Next thing you know Anna is one of our favorite babysitters.
Anna is the closet thing to a “Sarah” that we could find. Actually, she reminds me a lot of Sarah. They were both the same age when they started watching the girls. Both are athletic. And they both come from great families. Now let me say that no one could ever replace Sarah. Sarah will forever be our Sarah. But Anna is by no means second best. We really adore her. It’s kind of like when you have one child and then God gives you a second. The love just keeps growing. In my opinion our family is blessed by God with both of these young women. [Note: The whole second child thing is just an analogy. I’m not really old enough to be their mom ;-)]
One of things we love about these ladies is how they love Claire and Ella. They just don’t “babysit.” When they come it’s not just a way to pass time or make a few bucks. They really love on our girls. And I don’t care what you tell me, that’s something money can’t buy nor the convenience of on-call childcare can make up for. There’s a peace of mind that comes when you know you’re leaving your kids with someone who genuinely loves them. So, if I’m honest we first fell in love with both of them because they fell in love with our kids. Kind of reminds me of that Bible verse that says we love God because He first loved us. The way God’s love flows so freely through them says a lot about who they are.
While Sarah and Anna are different in some ways (Sarah is more of an introvert and Anna is more of extrovert) there are similarities between the two that I really appreciate. Both are independent thinkers; they’re not the kind of girls who just follow the crowd. They’re “down to earth” and real. And both love God with all their hearts. They’re the kind of young women I want my girls to admire. Not surprisingly I really like both of their moms. Who Sarah and Anna are speaks volumes about their parents.
You may be wondering how it came to be that Anna is staying with us this weekend. Her mom and dad are celebrating their 20th anniversary on the beach and Anna opted for a weekend with us instead of hanging with her brothers. We’re flattered that she wanted to stay with us. The girls were so excited she was coming that they made her a cake and put cards next to her bed to welcome her.
We’re really enjoying Anna’s presence this weekend. We have to return her to her family tomorrow. We’re gonna’ hate to see her go but I have a feeling we can twist her arm and she’ll come back again.