But When Worlds Collide..

“..Said George Pal to his bride, “I’m gonna give you some terrible thrills.”

Name that reference without consulting Google and I’ll kiss you. In my head, anyway.

I wasn’t going to post today but then love, life, the American Pursuit, and my head got in the way and I couldn’t leave for the weekend (which is rumored to involve potty-training AND a cabin in the woods with an incinerator toilet, so ask me how that all works out) without participating/linking up/mentioning a few things. For one, Scarlet had a great sixth birthday.


I know it’s not about me, but it is partly about me, because who did a lot of the work six years and one day ago? Yes, she did some work. Yes, the doctor did a bit of work and the nurses did a LOT of work, and Cassidy was very involved too, but I have to pat myself on the back right now. Birthdays just remind you of how long you’ve been a parent. They remind you how long ago it was that you stepped up to the plate and hit a grand slam as far as this kid is concerned. A direct quote from Scarlet:

“I’m in between kid and big kid. 7 is a big kid. At 10 you’re teenager teenager teenager. Then you’re a grown up. Then wise elder. Then you die. You’re born, you live a little, then you die.” As Cassidy said, nailed it.

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And it’s worth noting that on her fifth birthday, a year ago, I was light-headed and I could barely breathe. I was in the early stages of PTSD from my own terrifying experience of turning five. Her sixth birthday was a reminder that a year has passed – and I have learned to talk a bit more, breathe a bit easier, and separate my own experience from hers. I went through her birthday without anxiety – and I went through it naturally – although a little ice cream happened and a little essential oil happened too. Preventative, really. When in doubt, a little ice cream and a little essential oil and you’re good(ish) to go.

When you’re in more serious doubt about whether or not you can get through a certain day or not, try a whoopee cushion.

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Those are stories for other days, though. The past, the present, the future.

I also wanted to make an Ask Away Friday announcement. As you may have noticed, I haven’t done an Ask Away Friday post in a few weeks, and that’s because we’re on summer hiatus! Summer is hard for blogging in general, and we really want to make a big go of it in the fall. I hope you’ll join us in September – after a long and refreshing summer break. We’ll be ready.

I also couldn’t resist participating in this week’s FTSF (Finish the Sentence Friday) – “My First Job.” My first job was babysitting. I didn’t have a retail job until college, when I worked in pizzerias while also still babysitting. You may see some parallels with now. The old me juggled pizza delivery and babysitting. The new me juggles photography, blogging and mothering. Mama-ing. I guess I like to do more than one thing, but I wasn’t ready then for what I’m ready(ish) for now. Babysitting was very rewarding. I babysat for our neighbors next door but I was only 11 and I can’t believe they hired me. Especially when I took their older son along on my ill-fated trick-or-treating a week after Halloween escapade. I just thought people would want to get rid of their candy by then, no? I was a mother’s “helper” then, although – maybe not helpful.

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I started working regularly for a family of three girls – and my only crime then was to let them stay up in their parent’s bedroom.. until their parents came home late that night. We used to play Nintendo (they thought I was some sort of superhero with Super Mario) and we are all still close today. I even photograph the oldest daughter’s adorable daughter.

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When I was almost 17, I met one of my mom’s clients – a mom of three adorable children – and I started babysitting for them. It was easily one of the best gigs of my life, maybe only second to what I have now – working for my own scary self. I have stories galore of these three, and they have changed the way I parent, because they were honestly the most well-behaved children I’ve ever met. Once a bear came into the yard when I was babysitting and I had the baby buckled into his swing and the older kids all in their playground structure with their neighbors. Luckily we all worked calmly together and snuck inside until the bear found her way elsewhere. This wonderful family, and their impact on my life, is a story for another day too.

They’re all grown-ups now and I was there when the parents renewed their vows two years ago.

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What was your first job?

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  1. Totally babysat first and foremost and then I worked at Blockbuster Video of all places, but still can’t believe how long ago that all really was now. Still have a wonderful weekend away with Cassidy and the kids. Also yay to taking a bit of a break this summer as you know I am doing that a bit myself on my blog, as well now πŸ˜‰

    1. Blockbuster Video – wow, what a difference! The jingle got in my head.
      That takes me back.
      I was supposed to only post twice this week and couldn’t resist! I guess when it comes from the head and heart, it’s not really work, right? That’s what I tell myself.

  2. Reading, even soulfully reading along and then BAM, you talk about whoopee cushions! HAH! Why have I not had whoopee cushion fun in the last several years?!

    Yes started babysitting once I was a tween, right up until my first job at a Talbot’s clothing store.

    Um, good look at the incinerator toilet place, OK? It should be pretty at least, right? Not the toilet that is…..

    1. haha! That’s kinda me in a nutshell. Heart and humor. I posted it on Facebook yesterday and got some great response.
      I need to hear some Talbot’s clothing store stories. I always imagine the people who shop there as interesting characters. We have a Talbot’s in town but I’ve never been there.

    1. That’ so awesome! I wanted to deliver newspapers as a GROWNUP!
      I bet it was so satisfying to plunk your own money on the candy counter.

  3. I’m not sure. Maybe working on an assembly line at a Sears packing plant for the summer. I hated that job. I was also a day camp counselor for 5 and six year olds, loved that!

    1. That sounds fun! I always thought about being a camp counselor but I really wanted to sleep in all summer, so pizza delivery was good because it had late hours.

  4. My first job was also baby-sitting. When I was about 12, I baby sat for two kids. The little girl was about 6 and she was awful! I put her to bed one night and, shortly after, she came down the hall on roller skates! Her baby brother was just a toddler. Looking back, I can’t believe I was left alone with them when I was so young myself. Rachel, my oldest, desperately wants to baby-sit. She will be thirteen next month and I think she is too young. I have asked some friends with young kids and they have (politely) agreed that they would not leave an almost 13 year old alone to watch their children. We have offered her services as a Mommy’s helper, but so far, my SIL is the only one who has taken us up on that offer.

    1. hahah! Roller skates! Ok, that is hilarious.
      I can’t believe I babysat when I was 11 and 12. I can’t imagine having an 11 or 12-year-old over to babysit Scarlet and Des right now!

  5. My first job was babysitting, too, and I still see some of the kids I babysat at church, all grown up and TALL!

    My 7 year old hates it when I call her a little girl, but I definitely don’t see her as a big kid yet! She’ll always be my baby. πŸ˜‰

    1. Yeah, seven is not a big kid like Scarlet thinks! I suppose it seems big when you’re six.. but is ten a teenager? Nope! Whew.
      Crazy about seeing them all grown up. The baby I babysat for is now in college. Gulp.

  6. I love how Scarlet enlighten’s us! I’m very happy that she had a great birthday with her loved ones. What a happy photo and a nice little story about those three well behaved children all grown up now! Great job Tamara keeping calm and getting all of you safely inside with that bear roaming not very far away. My first job was a landscaping helper’s job in the summer of 1970. I loved that job and was very lucky to return to that job every summer untti 1975. My hourly pay went from $1.75 in 1970 to $4.25 in ’75, and I worked a 40 hour week. Hard work and fun in the summer sun.

    1. Wow! That’s a lot of working!
      Cassidy is so good at landscaping but I always wonder how hard it would be to do it day in and day out in the hot sun. I suppose some people are better with heat than I am!

  7. Oh I could have taken some tips from you! My first babysitting job? I watched in horror from the top step as the two little lads tumbled head over heels down the stairs … They cried themselves to sleep …

  8. No love for Hollywood Video? Did you have those? I refuse to think 7 is a big kid. I’m in denial… because it means I have a big kid… πŸ™

    1. I think we did have Hollywood Video! It certainly rings a bell.
      Also, seven is not a big kid – unless you’re a six-year-old, I think! She used to tell me six-year-olds were SO OLD, and now she is one!

  9. My first job was also babysitting, but I had a few horrible experiences early on and I gave up. A kid hid behind the curtains and pooped on the carpet, parents came home over an hour later than they were supposed to…just not good. Then I went to Friendly’s – who doesn’t love ice cream?

    Have a great weekend Tamara!

    1. I’d go to Friendly’s too!
      When I first babysat the family (above), I got the baby’s poop on the parent’s bed! They couldn’t have been more nice about it, but man, I didn’t know what I was doing.
      Luckily they invited me back.

  10. My first job was babysitting my sister’s kids but there was a catch. She never paid me. She said she would babysit my kids when I had them. I was 13 at the time. You can only imagine that promise never came to pass. I babysat her kids for quite a few years without pay. My first paying job was at the local Department store. We used to eat the candy from the bulk buffet. Chocolate macaroons. The cash registers were old fashioned (even for the time) and that’s where I learned to count change. Ha. That is a frightening story about the bear showing up in the yard! You really are a super hero, Tamara to handle that situation so calmly. Lovely photos, as always. And a big Happy Birthday to Scarlet!

    1. Ohh! She still owes you!
      Candy from the bulk buffet sounds incredible. I used to work at Trader Joe’s and I would use my little box cutter to open food and then I’d call it “spoiled” and eat it. I’m classy.

  11. HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY TO SCARLET!! That is one beautiful family πŸ™‚ My first gig was cashier at Rite Aid.. where I met my son’s father.. I was 19 I didn’t work in high school or anything I was in too much debauchery LOL. πŸ™‚ My favorite, working with animals.. It was a grungy job with crazy hours and weak pay but man the animals were the best. This job is comfortable but it’s draining on the soul lol. Feeling of purposelessness. It’s been the craziest, busiest two weeks and I’m glad it’s calmed down today finally. Your video for the day: https://youtu.be/gAYL5H46QnQ Focus hard starting at 2:00 in the video – we’ll discuss afterwards LOL I just hired our first babysitter and I’m very happy with the choice. She’s an older lady and so sweet and amusing. Older generation Hispanic lady. They’re my fave.

    1. HA! About the video. At least it’s SNL and not actually serious like that bi-racial video you showed me. What a gem.
      I would love to work with animals but I can understand it being draining on the soul. My friend worked with animals and got Lyme Disease from it. Not that I think that happens. That can happen to anyone.

      1. My friend has that..allegedly we told her to get a 2nd opinion. Either way, that SUCKS big time.. You know humans drain me more than the animals did. No bull – humans are so entitled and obnoxious that I wish they could be mute for a little while.. At least animals just whimper and growl but are very grateful. Lol. πŸ™‚ That video always makes me laugh – esp the part I highlighted.. If you get your arse whooped by Ray Reynolds, you asked for it – you f*ed up.

          1. Yes that part is HA-LARIOUS! Too funny – tazed in the butthole. Priceless. That was her first opinion!!!! Where’s the 2nd?!?! My friend is essentially a doc and told her that it is extremely rare to get it if you’re not around animals and such – told her to get a 2nd opinion because that’s not likely what it is.

            1. Where I live, “they” say that Lyme is on the rise and it’s certainly around, but I agree. 24-36 hours of a deer tick that happens to be infected on your skin. It’s probably more rare than we realize but we all panic anyway.

              1. She hasn’t been near deers.. can that be possible?! I’m sure it is, everything is possible in this world. If we’re not panicking over something life just isn’t normal. Lol.. Ugh the case of the “Mondays” have already begun.. Does Casey experience this? It’s the most daunting feeling LOL I just want to nap all day :'(

  12. Wow to the bear. That would have scared me to death having to fumble a baby out of straps and usher everyone inside.

    You know I see pictures of Scarlet all the time with her teeny self and I’ve read her words before and she sounds so mature that I was kinda shocked that she’s just turning six even though I knew she was five πŸ˜‰

    1. Not only is she only six, but she’s tiny! She can easily wear 5T although 4T no longer fits, luckily. So I guess she’s not that tiny. It’s just that everyone is a beast. Yeah.
      The bear wasn’t so scary for some reason. I was 17 and I thought I was invincible.

  13. Babysitting, then retail. And I have an urge to throw toast and toilet paper…weren’t those lyrics in a Rocky Horror Picture Show song…or is my memory damaged?

    That second photo of Scarlet is AMAZING.

    1. YES! You’re the only one to get the lyrics right. Virtual kiss to you! No damaged memory.
      Thanks about the photo! I think it’s the first one I ever took of her that made me think, “Oh! I finally captured her!”

  14. My first job was babysitting, too. I loved babysitting for particular neighbors whose kids were mellow and who both insisted on paying me. She did, then he did, every time.

    My first official job? It’s a horrific story and as a result of going, I should have been abducted and sold into child slavery. It’s really that bad. I can’t believe my mom let me go in that scary van with a scary man. I might just have to write about it for Monday!

    1. HA! They both paid you? Did they know you had already been paid? Were you double paid? I need that kind of gig.
      And I need to read the blog post about the scary man in the scary van.

      1. The guy knew I’d been paid, and he was so happy and tipsy he’d shovel out whatever cash he had from the night in his front pocket. It was pretty sweet. I think their kids said 17 words combined.

        I do need to write that post. It was outrageous. It was egregious. I’m glad it wasn’t contagious.

  15. My first job was as a mother’s helper for my neighbor! I think I was in 4th grade at the time. I basically hung out with him while he watched Barney while his mom was elsewhere in the house. He was probably 2 at the time.

    1. ha! That’s so cute. Even though it’s crazy to think of a nine-year-old babysitting – you were just being a mother’s helper. At six, Scarlet can do a lot to help Des and me.

  16. I started babysitting when I was 11 as well and now that seems SO SO young! It’s hard to believe really. One stupid little kid locked me out of his house once. No cell phones back then. Ugh. I actually didn’t really enjoy babysitting. HAPPY SIX TO SCAR!!!! <3

    1. It seems crazy that we all babysat at 11, but we did! And everyone survived!
      Except that kid who locked you out? I would have kicked his butt.

  17. I so love this. The birthday, the photos. You are a incredible family. So awesome.

    First job, babysitting and housecleaning. I wish I would’ve banked that money, I was a rich 12 year old! Lol

    1. Thank you! We’re working hard to be a cohesive family. It’s hard not to be because the kids are very happy children. We’re lucky with that!
      I seriously wish I had the money I made from pizza delivery..

  18. So glad that Scarlet had a great birthday. I did some babysitting as well – before I worked at a department store where I had to wear a red polyester uniform. I was stylin’.

  19. I guess babysitting was also my first job. I use to babysit my little cousin when I was in junior high. However, my first job where I earned a paycheck was being a server. It was a great first job.

    1. That’s one job I’ve never done! I always wondered how I’d be. I get anxious sometimes and it seems like such a relentless job – constantly on your feet – but I tend to do ok in such situations.

  20. How wonderful that you’ve stayed in touch with some of them! I usually say my first job was working at Sears, but I did babysitting, too. I don’t usually count babysitting as one of my jobs because it was fun versus Sears which felt like work πŸ™‚

    1. Yea, it was so awesome! I did it for so long and for money that I had to call it my first job, but I suppose it was under the table and all. My first job with taxes was Dominos.

  21. Ha I love the exchange between you and Janine now it’s stuck in my head! My first job was as a camp counselor. I was 16 and my boss took total advanced my computer skills which were amazing (thanks AOL chatrooms!) So I spent a lot of time in the air conditioned office while my coworkers had to deal with the kids. Lol good times!

    1. It’s been in my head for 24 hours now, but on and off.
      I used to get in trouble for using AOL chatrooms while at work. Now my work IS computer-based, thankfully.

  22. The after Halloween trick-or-treating! You are gutsy and original! I’m pretty sure I would have died of embarrassment, even at 11. You go, girl. Such great photos on this one!!

  23. How lame is it that I didn’t get my first job wasn’t until I was 18 and in college? Didn’t work in high school, though I wish I had. Glad to hear Scarlett’s 6th birthday went well! Beautiful first photo of her, oh my goodness! And yes, I remember your blog posts from last year when she turned five. Happy to hear you’re coping much better Tamara!

    1. That’s not lame!
      My brother was trying to work at 15 – Burger King. I think he didn’t just try – he succeeded. I babysat a lot, but before that, I had no real desire to work.. like ever.

  24. I babysat a lot too. I’ve lost touch with all the kids who weren’t related to me though. Glad you made it through Scarlets birthday – it was scary last year. the pics (as always) are incredible.

    1. Facebook has brought back a lot of them into my life. And of course, I just feel old seeing it.
      Not only did I make it through Scarlet’s birthday, but I enjoyed it!

  25. I did babysit once upon a time, but I’m not certain it was the first money I earned. I didn’t care for babysitting, so I didn’t do much of it. My first real job was a dishwasher (by hand) at my dad’s restaurant. t was awful. I made $3.25 an hour.

    Happy Birthday Scarlett!

    1. Ack, you think your dad could have paid more! Was it one of those restaurants where the wait service has to tip out to the dishwashers and bus service? I always wonder about that.

  26. My first real job was at Toys R Us, but I did babysit once before then. It was for a family across the street and the kids only spoke Japanese so it was really hard to communicate with them. It still went ok though. Hope your weekend is going well!

    1. Ah, Toys R Us! I hope that was fun and not just whiny.
      I took Japanese class in high school and would have needed that practice. Too bad it wasn’t my job!

  27. you know it’s really too bad I can’t throw toast here. πŸ˜‰

    My first job? hmm, if we are talking of the paying variety, than I am sure it was babysitting too. but growing up around the farm: oh, every day was about what job to get done. I got paid in good country home cooking, dirty feet tucked into warm quilted sheets at night, and a work ethic that has served me well. and the memories, well that’s the glue. and it’s nice that I can go back there anytime I want.
    kinda like a jump to the left. πŸ™‚

  28. Dana Andrews said prunes gave him the runes and passing them used lots of skills.

    Right back at’cha! πŸ˜‰

    BTW, beautiful pictures! I especially adore the one of your little girl — loved seeing on FB as well!

    1. You definitely got a kiss and thanks for sending one back!!

      Scarlet is so great on Facebook and she doesn’t even know it! I’ll have some explaining to do..

  29. I love getting to know Scarlet’s little (or should I say, almost big girl!) personality. She definitely summed up life well in her wise years! I hope you have a wonderful time camping and potty training πŸ™‚


    1. ha! According to Scarlet, she’ll be a big big kid by age 7! Let’s just say I still think of six as a little girl. Almost big girl is perfect the way you worded it.

  30. Seriously, Scarlet is destined for great things. That’s a brilliant quote, just ready to go out to the world! My first job was also babysitting, and I’ve often wondered what my parents/the kids’ parents were thinking. When I was 10 (seriously, 10?) I watched the next door neighbors newborn twins (seriously, twins?) during the summer when the mom went out to run errands, etc. I would never let a 10 year old babysit my boys, but looking back, I felt like I could totally handle it. That was one trusting mom.

    1. Ten! Wow!! That’s amazing. I guess 11 isn’t so different. But newborn twins?? You are amazing. Did you have to change diapers?

  31. Flanders Bagels and working for mom!!! Mom actually paid me well! HAHAH I love you, and LOVED seeing you and celebrating your birthday as well as Scarlet’s…after all YOU did the work making her!

    1. Oh man – now I remember Flanders Bagels! Did they let you eat any bagels for free? Do you even eat bagels? I find that a nice everything bagel once a month is vital for my well-being.

      Had a great time with you!!

  32. I totally babysat too! My first job that I actually got when I was old enough to drive (hence pay for gas!) was at a movie theater–all the free popcorn and movies I could possibly take, which was a lot when you’re 16!;-) I still think that’s one of the reasons I adore going to the theater now!

    1. So awesome! I worked for a non-profit that ran a theater and the smell of popcorn would float up. We’d get an employee discount on everything, but popcorn and coffee were free. Unlimited!! And the popcorn was real butter. what a difference.
      I definitely feel the same way about going to the theater these days.

  33. I did a lot of babysitting. That was fun! Getting paid to put the kids to bed and then watch TV on the couch! I still keep in touch with those kiddos and it seems odd that they gotten so much older and I haven’t! πŸ˜‰
    Also, I worked at KMart through high school and college. I actually enjoyed it. I met a lot of fun people, had some crazy adventures, and even had a customer give me a car!

    1. I used to love that – the TV watching after the littles went to bed.
      KMart sounds like it would have some adventures.
      Were you allowed to keep the car??

  34. My first job: I was the annoying person on the other line of the phone asking you to rate your experience at________
    I’m not sure that job exists anymore, with the Internet. I made the best of my time surveying people, I did my voices and made friends with people in cubicle next to me πŸ™‚

  35. I love bears! I want to hear more of that story…sounds scary! My first job was….a golf course of course. I washed and parked golf carts. Glamorous huh? Happy birthday to your precious girl! Scary they are getting so old huh?

  36. My first job was also babysitting, and it was a really easy job, with one child, who brushed his own teeth and put himself in bed. Seriously, it was a privilege. My first “real” job, however, was working in a pharmaceutical packaging plant, putting medications into a variety of packaging. It was pretty dull, and I had to stand on concrete all day long. I imagine all of this is done by machines now. But it was a good experience, I’ve never regretted it.

  37. Happy belated birthday, Scarlet! Goodness, you guys made beautiful kiddos πŸ™‚ I imagine that birthdays bring up a lot of unexpected feels… but especially the anniversary into fully responsible adulthood.

    Oh, I had some great babysitting adventures… but nothing like a bear in the backyard πŸ™‚ I would have freaked out. I remember distinctly once when a neighbor asked how much I wanted to get paid and I responded with “whatever you think is appropriate.” So she gave me $1 an hour. ONE DOLLAR. LOL, even then I knew it was highway robbery!

  38. I still remember your posts when Scarlet turned 5 last year. It’s clear that you’re much more relaxed this year. I remember babysitting when I was younger. Even went and took a babysitting class with a Red Cross certificate. Not that I remembered anything I ‘learned’ in that class by the time I actually put it to use. Do kids even babysit anymore?

  39. I never really babysat except for once for my cousin’s daughter when I was in high school and once for a professor’s kid when I was in college. I don’t think that I was cut out for it! Although I did work as a camp counselor (my first real job) for 4-5 year olds and loved it.

  40. My first job was at a place that made smoke, for smoke machines. I used to put flavor into the liquid and then shrink wrap the tops of the bottle. It was such an interesting thing to do at such a young age. I can remember the smells I used to add, and I can remember how satisfying it was to see that little wrapper shrink around the top of the bottle with the aid of my heat gun. During that job was also the first time I ever tried a mango.

  41. You have amazing network of friends. As you know, my first real job is still the same job I am in right now. But before that, I worked for my godmother/my mom’s best friend in her bookkeeping company one summer break. My job was to go around banks in the city to deposit checks and pay people’s taxes and I was paid daily! I don’t think I’d ever be good at baby sitting!

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