The year was 1994. It was late summer and I was eleven years old. Having recently completed a two-day babysitting safety course where I learned how to perform CPR on an infant, change diapers, and other sitting survival skills, I was ready to embark on a new journey as a caregiver for children. I packed a bag full of stuffed animals and other toys I thought she might like to play with, went over all the lessons I learned in my head, and walked two streets over to my first babysitting gig…for a three-year old girl, with light blonde hair.
There are two elements of this memory which make me go “woah”
1) I cannot believe anyone would have allowed an eleven year old to watch their child. Literally I wasn’t even four-foot six at the time, I was a baby myself. What were these people thinking.
2) That little blonde-haired girl has grown up to become:
An Oscar-Award winning movie star.
Jennifer Lawrence, is the daughter of my godmother, Karen (who also looked stunning…like mother like daughter), which is how I came to be entrusted with her care. I didn’t babysit her often, as she has two older brothers who were able to watch (and certainly torment) her. But I do have a very vivid memory of a night where she did not want to go to sleep, convinced there was a monster under her bed (she was dramatic at a young age). Thinking quick on my feet, I sold her on a story that her dog, a miniature Schnauzer, ate the monster and everything would be fine. Lying to small children is always the way to go.
I remember the day she was born, my mom got the call from her father saying “It’s a Girl!” When I heard the news I ran screaming through the kitchen because I knew how much Karen wanted to have a girl. I remember her nursery which had pink stamped bows all around the woodwork. I remember Karen having a field day at Animal Crackers over all the adorable dresses and pretty little frocks for precious little ladies.
Last Christmas, I stopped by her family home to drop off a gift and Jennifer was there. I hadn’t seen her since she was five years old, but she greeted me with a hug and said “I’m sorry I look like a crack-whore right now, I haven’t even put a bra on.”
So that spunkiness you get when she accepts awards…it’s all real.
Seeing her evolve into this gorgeous, accomplished, star has been such a joy to behold and completely surreal. I got butterflies in my stomach watching her last night, and I know this is just the beginning of a long, storied career for that little blond-haired gal. My heart is full of babysitter pride.
And in case you are wondering…I taught her everything she knows.