I’ve been having a lot of vivid flashbacks lately. I remember walking from school to Dr. Parker’s orthodontist office and having my braces tightened. I remember opening and closing my locker as a freshman. I remember babysitting kids who weren’t too much younger than me, now that I think about it. I wasn’t even an adult, only a teenager. Yet I fed these kids cereal, kissed away their booboos, read them their favorite books, and rocked them to sleep. All for $5 an hour.
I babysat and tutored almost ten children during my teens. When I’m on Facebook connecting with people from my past, I wonder what those kids are up to. Did they become what I thought they would become? Some dumb, yet born into money. Others bratty and spoiled, yet smart and coherent even at a young age. Their names are too common for me to pick them out. Susan Cortez. Try to find the one Susan Cortez with blonde hair and hazel eyes, who lived in Alameda from approximately 1990-1994, went to St. Joseph’s Elementary, and loved peanut butter. If you were her, would you ever wonder what happened to that Asian girl who used to come over and babysit? Would you even remember my name?
I really did care about those kids. It was my job to make sure they were safe while their parents were elsewhere. Susan would ball herself into my lap and hug me tight. She was practically as big as I was, but I realized that she needed me. Which is why I wonder. Did they get everything they needed? Are they ok now? What’s become of them?