Then, at 550am, I hear my text message go off. At first, I thought I was dreaming, but, I look over, and see my phone lit up. There it was...a text from our babysitter who was supposed to babysit for Clara while we skied all weekend.
This can't be good, I thought. And, it wasn't.
She was sick with strep throat and a fever, and didn't know what she should do. Heck! What were we going to do?? At 550am, and planning on leaving at 630am, what were we going to do? How could we not take the girls skiing? After all, we were looking forward to this weekend as much as they were.
We threw all sorts of different ideas out there, but none of them were that great. Of course, there was always the day care center, but, Clara had never stepped foot in a day care, and I just couldn't expect her to walk in, be happy, and last all day.....and repeat the next day. For a l6 month old, that's a lot to ask, and a fairly intimidating environment if you ask me...
Then, my parents offered to watch Clara. OK. We'll just drive to their house, drop her off, and continue another hour to another ski place. That was the plan. Easy. And we were off!
Until we got in the car. We started talking about the ifs.....and buts...and that we wouldn't get to the ski place until at least 11am, so...we had everything we needed for a weekend away at Sunday River. At the last minute, we veered onto Rte95 North instead of south towards my parents. In the direction of Sunday River. What the heck - let's see what the day has in store for us...I called the day care, and they had room for Clara, then, I called the friend? where we were supposed to stay (long story), and let her know about our change in plans and how we probably wouldn't be able to spend the night. We thought the dogs would just have to manage in the car all day - they'd be okay in 20 degree weather in a car, right? Right...they're dogs!?!?
Of course, a trip to Sunday River wouldn't be fun without getting stuck in back of a plow or a few school buses, and slippery roads. We started to have our doubts about how our so-called weekend was going to go. We got to Sunday River just in time to get the girls signed up for their all day lesson, I raced in with the big girls, while Kevin sat outside in the waiting area with Clara. I raced back to the car. I packed up a bag for Clara, and prepared her to be thrown to the wolves. I couldn't believe I was going to put her in day care, but, what else were we going to do? Sit in a lodge all day with her? I'd go insane. Off to day care she went...but not without my doubts.
I brought her in, and I just wasn't feeling it. While everyone was welcoming, I could feel Clara tense up in my arms. At the same time, one of the staff members gave me a note from the lady we would be staying with. She was offering to watch Clara if I couldn't leave her in day care....really? I couldn't believe what I was reading! So, I thought I'd at least try to leave Clara. I brought her in the toddler room where there were about 4/9 kids crying. I felt so bad for them...I held Clara, and slowly sat down with her, showing her toys. She refused to take her jacket and hat off. She was no dummy. She then started to play with some toys. I slowly backed away, and walked out of the room to watch what happened. She was okay for a few minutes...then, she realized I was gone. She walked over to the door and just stood there. Waiting for me to return. How could I not feel horrible? I waited to see what happened next. None of the teachers went over to try to distract her, then she started to cry and call out for me. I was sad. I admit, I am a sucker when it comes to this sort of stuff. I waited though...and then a few of the staff went over to Clara and tried to "convince" her to come over and watch Dora....????? She's 16 months old, maybe try introducing her to a doll or some other toy? She wasn't having it, and either was I. I opened the door and picked up my sweet baby girl, and said, thanks, but no thanks...I just couldn't do it.
I called Brenda, spoke with her about her note, and she convinced me to leave Clara with her for the day (and the next, too). I couldn't believe someone I hardly knew (don't worry, I checked her out beforehand) would offer to do something so sweet for us - did I mention we were staying at her house, she was taking in our dogs, and now, offering to help with our daughter so we could enjoy time with each other, and our girls? She met us over at the lodge, and took Clara. Kevin met her back at the house, and he said Clara was doing great with her - reading books, singing and just having fun. She even brought Clara back during lunch so she could spend time with us. Meanwhile, Kevin and I were skiing together, and the girls were having a blast in ski school! This day was turning out to be a great one, after all. Who-woulda-thunk-it?
At the end of the day, we picked the big girls up from ski school, and skied with them. They are doing amazing - I'll write another blog later with photos and video - but, we are just so proud of them! At the end, Mairead told Kevin that she was having the best day over. Seriously - how can that not melt your heart???
Afterwards, we headed back to the house, showered, and went to meet friends at their ski house for dinner. The kids (and dogs) had a blast together. Of course, by the time we got back for bed, everyone was exhausted from our insanely crazy day.
We started our day wondering if we would even be able to ski.
We ended our day with two tired girls from skiing. A happy 16 month old who was given great care. And a happy mommy and daddy who had a lot of fun together and with their girls.
And the ski weekend we had planned for.
I am so glad to know there are still people out there who are still caring, good people who don't do things just for themselves, but to help others out, too. This woman just doesn't do it for us, but she has been volunteering her time at Sunday River for years, and not to mention, has been riding in the Pan Mass Challenge for years now raising money to support Dana Farber Cancer and The Jimmy Fund.
If you are interested in donating to her (she deserves it!), here is her info:
Pan Mass Challenge and her ID is BW0005