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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Uncles/Aunts (04/17/08)

TITLE: Who Will Take Care of the Children?
By Annora Williams


We rarely take trips as a couple. In fact we have only done that twice since our children were born. We go on dates about every six months but normally our excursions are for the whole family. The primary reason is a very short list of dependable people we can call on to watch our three children.

This became an issue this past year when my husband was notified that he and his team had been selected to receive a prestigious award from his company. The presentation was to be in California and the company was paying to fly us both out for the ceremony. We were both excited about the honor and opportunity but immediately began to try to solve the dilemma we were now facing- Who would take care of our children?

Not everyone would consider this a problem. Some have grandparents who are a mere phone call away. Others have friends who are like family and readily offer to help. However, as mentioned earlier, our list of options is extremely short when it comes to people who are willing, or those we feel comfortable asking, to watch our children for an extended time. And so we wracked our brains to come up with a viable solution.

We were in a quandry. The presentation was scheduled at the end of the week rather than a weekend. This meant that whomever we asked to watch our children would have the responsibility of getting them to and from school as well as homework. Tall order. We felt a weight on our shoulders as to how we were to work this out, or would I have to miss this trip as I had been forced to do before.

We proceeded to call our immediate family to share the good news. Congratulations were offered; they thought it was a wonderful chance to see another city. We were told to have fun, but no one asked how they could help or if we even needed help- until I called my sister. As soon as she heard about the trip, she uttered the most beautiful words, without hesitation, “Let me know the dates so I can request off from work.” She did not even ask if we needed her to keep our children; she simply offered.

Our worry turned to joy. We knew, without a doubt, that our children would be cared for while we were gone, and we could actually enjoy the trip. Sure, as parents we would still worry, but with their aunt with them, our children would be fine. She loves them and they adore her. They were ecstatic when we told them she would be staying with them a few days, and immediately began making plans for her. They could hardly wait for us to leave.

My sister took on this challenge and survived. It was a much different experience than what she is used to as a single woman with only herself and a dachshund to care for. For two days she had the job of getting three children- aged 11, 8, and 6- up, dressed, fed and off to school. Then she had to pick them up from school, feed them, and see to homework, baths, and bedtime. She rose to the task and had the opportunity to bond with her niece and nephews in a different way.

She was quite grateful when we returned home from our trip. She enjoyed the time with the kids but it did take a lot out of her. We are grateful to her for her generous and loving offer. Granted, she did make a request for us to wait a bit before we opted to take another trip away from home. Despite that comment, we know that if something were to ever happen to us, she would open her home and heart to love and care for our children. We know that we have someone we can count on without hesitation, no matter what.

Thank you, Sis, for being a dependable, loving aunt to our children.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Marlene Austin04/25/08
A glowing tribute to a sister who is also a dependable friend. :)
Joanne Sher 04/26/08
Very well-developed story, and a wonderful tribute to a wonderful aunt. I hope you share this with her.