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Four Years at the Mount

Junior year

Be more child-like

Lydia Olsen
Class of 2016

(11/2014) Every morning I woke up by seven, grabbed myself breakfast, and hopped into my car. I drove the few miles to their house and turned quietly into their driveway. I would walk across their gravel path and in through the back door that they always left unlocked for me. I would go into the kitchen and wait for a few moments before I heard their gentle footsteps as Finn climbed down the ladder to the bunk beds and Brice plopped his little feet onto the chilly hardwood floor. Iíd listen as they began to whisper to each other and plot their surprise attack. In the silence I would hear their tiny feet along the floorboards as they tiptoed from their bedroom. They would hide behind the nearest wall and I would turn away as if I had no idea they were there. Then, only seconds later they would jump out and yell, "Boo!," hoping to see me jump. I always did. Like clockwork, every morning we went through the same routine. Much like I could count on them trying to scare me in the morning, they could count on the fact that I was going to be there to be scared.

I first met them years ago. I was working at a daycare in the area and they were new to town. Brice was only two years old at the time and Finn was five. They were both troublemakers, like most boys their age, and yet I could not help but adore them. Every afternoon after my high school classes I would go work at the daycare and there they would be, always ready to play and to learn. I watched them grow over that year. Brice celebrated his third birthday and shortly after, Finn moved on to kindergarten. It was not long after that their parents came to me asking if I could come over and watch them for a bit so they could go out to dinner.

What started as just a simple babysitting job turned into much more. That summer I became a nanny for the boys, which meant watching them day in and day out. After I went to college I was only able to babysit off and on, but I always managed to see them during Christmas break and come summertime, I would start nannying again.

It is safe to say that the boys and I have spent a lot of time together and over this period, they have watched me grow just as much as I have watched them develop. Though my handwriting hasnít improved and my feet havenít gotten two sizes bigger like theirs, I have been growing this whole time with their help. These two little boys with their big hearts have changed my life in more ways than I could have ever imagined.

It seems that while I was teaching Brice how to spell his name and helping Finn sound out the words on his vocabulary list, they were both teaching me patience. And while I was comforting them about a lost toy and trying to convince them that it wasnít the end of the world, I learned that I too tend to overreact about the little things. And while we were all running around and making a mess in the process, I learned that life is about having fun and nothing should be taken too seriously.

These two boys enabled me to see through the eyes of children, through which the world is painted as a beautiful place. They let me see through a lens other than the tinted ones used by most adults. Children are quick to forgive and they easily forget. They rarely hold grudges because they do not let themselves live in the past. They explore their interests and aim to discover. They laugh without restraint and smile without reason. They try without first doubting their abilities and they believe in themselves. They wonder in all things and do not limit their dreams.

Because of Finn and Brice I am more aware of the beauty that hides in the little things. Because of them I know when to ask for help and when to apologize for hurting someone else. Because of them I have realized how much room there is within a heart for love. Their influence has made me a truly better person; I can feel my strength when I jump up and down on the trampoline, the dew on the grass under my toes as I run around the yard barefooted, the wind rushing through my hair as I go down the slide, and I no longer cringe as their dirty little hands reach out to hold mine tightly.

I am not sure what the world has in store for Finn and Brice. I do not know what they will be like in the years to come, if Finnís favorite color will still be red and Briceís will be blue, if they will still have blonde curly hair or if it will turn out to be dark and straight like their parents, or if Finn will become a scientist and Brice will become a professional soccer player. But what I do know is that these two can move mountains if they put their minds to it. I truly believe that the sky is their only limit.

Finn and Brice, after every day we spent together, learning, laughing, and loving, you were sure to thank me. But too often I forgot to thank you both in return. It seems that while I was so busy trying to make the most out of life for you, I overlooked the fact that you were making the most out of life for me. I am so grateful that you have enabled me to see through the eyes of a child. You have changed the way that I see the world. Thank you for all of the memories that we have made over the last four years. I will cherish them forever.

Read other articles by Lydia Olsen