I remember babysitting for a local family when I was only 11 years old. They would pick me up at 4 or 5pm - then head for dinner & drinks (typically a LOT of drinks), returning home at 1 or 2 am. My mom never drank - my dad would have a beer or two after work when it was hot out - and I didn't know just how scared I should have been each time I was driven home.
Later today, I'm having my 13 yr old babysit for the younger kids. She'll have her 11 year old sister alongside her as a "helper" and she'll be in charge of her 3 youngest siblings: Ages 4, 2 1/2, 1 1/2. I've left Meg in charge before - but only when I'm a 10 minute drive from home... and only for a couple hours tops... and most of the time it's after the youngest 3 are asleep.
BUT... today... it's from 4:30pm until approx 8:30pm... I'll be an hour drive from home... it's while they are awake... she'll be feeding them dinner (I'm ordering pizza)... AND she'll have to put them to bed. So I'm a teeny bit nervous. Okay - maybe a lot nervous.
Thoughts run through my head just like any good mom: What if someone burglarizes the house? (yeah - I know this doesn't happen often during daytime hours)... What if she falls asleep while she's watching the kids (Again - it's daytime - I know)... What if one of the kids gets through the locks and gets through the closed/locked gate on the top deck - and gets over the baby gate and gets into the pool??? (WHAT?!?!?!? That's not so farfetched. I believe I've read about that very same thing happening in some parenting magazine a few years back!!!).
So... while I'm dining with the finance company our company uses - and while I'm supposed to be enjoying myself this evening during what's supposed to be a nice dinner and having what SHOULD be a relaxing drink - I'll be a wreck. I'm sure.
I repeatedly remind myself today that I also should be sure I'll return home to soundly sleeping children - a fairly clean house - and a VERY excited teenager eagerly awaiting her payment!