The Sitter This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The wind outside her house was howling, the snow was blowing fiercely, and the windows were frosted to the point that looking through them was impossible. Despite this, the inside of her house was as warm as a wool blanket. The room I remember most vividly was the combination living and dining room, which always smelled like an Italian restaurant. I would sit in the musty brown chair and do homework, which seemed next to impossible then, a project as hard as hiking up Mount Everest.

She would help me when it got tough, her wisdom and many years of experience combining to help a first-grader do his math, or spelling, or whatever was giving him trouble. She wouldn't do the work for me, though. She was the epitome of a sitter, nice and fun, and she would always be there for me when I was feeling down.

I can remember one time in particular. It wasn't snowing, though it was cold. Autumn was on the way, chasing the remaining bits of summer out with bitterly cold winds and falling leaves. I had to write a report on autumn, specifically why I liked it. As a first-grader, I could think of nothing autumn was good for. It was just a space of time that ended summer and prevented winter from coming. She helped talk me through it. She asked why I didn't like autumn and other questions that were hard for a helpless first-grader like me. I ended up getting an A on the paper. I remember her big smile when I told her, my words spewing at a mile a minute.

She is the first sitter I remember. She lived next door in a house that seemed huge, though now it seems small. Her face was only slightly wrinkled and her frizz of gray hair was always tied back. She was really smart, or at least smart enough to help me with my work. I figured that she would always be there - next door - with her strange hair and slight accent. I was wrong. A time came when we had to move. The last time I saw her, she was smiling, her arms clasped in front of her as though she were praying. I wasn't sure then, but it seemed as though she were crying.

She is what I think of when I imagine a sitter, or a nanny, or even a grandmother. I have never forgotten her and I never will. c


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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