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A Letter to the Babysitter We Don't Thank Enough

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My daughter ends most days on my lap with a book. These 15 minutes used to be about the book, but more often, they’ve become a quiet place where she can talk to me in the way she talks.

“Daddy is wearing a hat. Annabel likes hats too. Annabel likes pepperoni. Did you have pepperoni in your salad? You use a fork to eat your salad…”

The other night we talked about Halloween and trick-or-treating, which led to this…

“The Easter Bunny gives you jelly beans,” she said.

“Yes, he does.”

“Santa Claus gives you candy canes.”

“Yes, he does.”

“And Laura gives you striped mints.”

Laura is our babysitter, but of course she’s more than that. To Annabel, she is the Easter Bunny. She is Santa Claus. She is legendary.


Annabel’s world is made up of very few people and those people mean the world to us. At the end of the day, we give Laura a casual, “Thanks, see you Friday,” but we often don’t express how grateful we really are.

Laura, thank you for taking the time to be with Annabel, for the patience it requires to truly connect with her, for listening to all the ways she communicates, for encouraging her to laugh, for comforting her when she cries, for forgiving her (and us) for the bruises and scratches she’s left you with, for changing explosive diapers, cleaning up unspeakable messes, for taking care of the boys (who can often be more challenging than Annabel), and of course, for the giant bag of “striped mints” we keep on the fridge that Annabel knows are from you. It’s a reminder that even when you’re not here, you’re here for Annabel.

“Babysitter” has never felt like the right word to describe you because you do so much more than “sit” with our kids. I think Annabel nailed it. Just like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, you bring our kids the gift of joy.

Here at The Mighty, we’re going to celebrate Thanksgiving through the entire month of November by publishing stories of thanks. We’re seeking submissions from the community – that means you!

This could be a thank you note to a close friend or family member who has been there for you, to a doctor, nurse, teacher or therapist who has helped you through a particular challenge, to a stranger who’s kind gesture meant far more than he or she knew.

Who do you want to thank? We’re here to help you give that person your full appreciation. And having just done it, I can tell you this – it feels great.

Please submit a thank you note or story, along with a photo and one-or-two sentence bio to


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Originally published: October 22, 2014
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