29 June 2009

Not So Little Car-Car Anymore

Meet Carly.

I have known Carly since she was three, and I was eleven. I started babysitting Carly and her siblings (there were actually only two of them when I started…Abby came along a little while later) back in 1996. What started out as babysitting, lead to being a nanny, and eleven years later I was practically a Robertson.

Carly turned 16 on June 12. I wanted to make a post for her on her birthday, but husband surprised me with an anniversary vacation.

The first time I met Carly, she was 3-years old, and I was 11-years old. It happened like this: I walked into her house for the first time; she and little brother Jack were running in circles around me. Carly pulls me down to the couch, pulls my hair out of its ponytail, and says, “Wow, you have long hair, I’m going to do it for you.” There was no, “Hi, I’m Carly,” or anything like that. At that moment, I told myself, I don’t think I’m going to baby sit for these crazy little kids anymore. Eleven years later…

Carly is my favorite girl in the whole world. Carly is not just the little girl I tended to for 11 years…She is a best friend and a sister to me, too. At age 16, most girls had a best friend that they told everything to, but for me, it was 8-year old Carly. You see, Carly has always been wise beyond her years. Little Carly has taught me a lot over the past 13 years.

One of my favorite Carly-pieces-of-advice:

“It hurts to be beautiful.”

While I was a nanny for the Robertson family, I did most of the hair styling for dance recitals, Halloween, etc. One day while curling Carly’s hair, I accidentally burned her with the curling iron. I felt so bad and was apologizing to Carly, and her little 6-year old face turns to me and says, “It’s ok, Kell, it hurts to be beautiful.”

During the summertime, I would always do Carly’s hair before she went to dance. She liked being the cutest girl in her studio, and she was.

Let me post that picture again:

Did you see those abs? Carly has had a six-pack since the late 90’s. But that is no surprise since she danced for 8 hours a day, every day of her little life.

And let me tell you, Carly is a great little dancer, and so fun to watch.

When Carly was younger, she liked to see what I was wearing and then dress accordingly.

One time I took Carly with me to a high school dance concert at my school, and everyone kept asking us if we were sisters. We loved that.

One of my favorite memories with Carly was going to Hawaii with her and her family.

I also loved doing nails, hair and makeup for her and her friends (with the my friend, Rachel) at one of he birthday parties when she was younger.

Carly has always known exactly what she wants. When Carly began middle school, I remember her feeling pressured to start kissing boys and other things that she didn’t feel comfortable with. Carly would come home from school crying all the time, because she felt like she wasn’t fitting in with her friends new mature ways. Carly decided to start a secret notebook with me. She would write down whatever was bothering her, and then leave it for me to write her back, so that we didn’t have to talk about it out loud so that other people could hear.

Carly is the funnest girl I know. Sometimes I had to take the kids with me to run my errands, because I was at their home from early until late every day. Carly liked to pretend that her and her siblings were my children, just so that we could get reactions from people in the store, or doctor’s office, etc. We always got a thrill out of others’ dirty looks.

Carly is a friend to everyone, and has so many of them.

I always joke with Carly that she will be my babysitter for my children when I have them, because she is the only one who know exactly how I want my children raised.

When most people leave on their honeymoons after getting married, they are ecstatic. Although I was really happy, I was really sad, too. The reason: Carly (and family). When I left to go on my honeymoon, I would not be coming back to Phoenix. The fact that I would not see Carly for a long time killed me. The tears were all directed towards my sadness of not seeing her.

The last thing I told Carly when I left was to be good. I have always been so protective of Carly. I kind of hate that she is now dating boys, and that in two years she will be graduating high school and moving out to go to college. I had this deal with Carly that if she could hold out until she was 16 to kiss a boy. I would give her $100 ($100 seemed like a lot when I was younger). Let’s just say that I have an extra $100 to spend this month.

Ok, so now I have to kind of brag a little bit, by sharing this essay that Carly wrote about me this past last year in school. Her mom e-mailed it to me because she knows how much I miss them…makes me cry every time:

From the time I was three years old I have looked up to a woman named Kelly Yates. When I think about it, Kelly has been a huge part of most of my life. She has been a role model, a best friend, and almost a second mother to me. She has impacted my life immensely and without her, I would not be who I am today.

Kelly Yates was my babysitter. She lived down the street and began to first babysit me when I was just three years old. Kelly was only 7 years older than me but my mom swears she was very mature for her age. She instantly became a part of the family and practically lived with us. She watched me grow as I watched her and we shared a ton! Two years ago Kelly moved to Utah to experience new things. There she met her husband, and got married. It was the hardest thing for me because it meant that she would be moving her home to Utah and far away from me.

Kelly has overcome so many hardships during her life and is still the most giving person I know. About two months ago Kelly went to Africa for one month to teach children about AIDS. She lived in an orphanage and cared for ten orphans, walked them to school, and taught the students HIV education. She told me it was the most life changing experience she could ever imagine. She left her house, husband, and job to go make the world a better place. In my eyes, it took her so much courage to do such a task.

Through the years she has taught me so much about the person I want to be and how to be that person. I admire everything about her and she has so many traits that I strive to portray in myself. I aspire to be just like her. And some day I will make my mark on the world and I will have her to thank for it.

Carly, you are a good example to me, too. You are so fun, loving, outgoing and happy. I only wish I was as charismatic as you. You truly are a little star.

Other favorite memories of Carly:

Rubio’s, swim team, narrated phone calls to my high school boyfriends, the dollar store, the note game, singing to Sparks, bean burritos with barbeque sauce and ranch dressing, my voicemail messages, gin rummy, going to see Twilight together and going to Jack-in-the Box, hot dog throw up in my sink, etc.

Carly, I love you so much. You know how much you mean to me. I hope you had the happiest birthday ever. I miss you everyday, and wish that I could see you more. I know that you are not little Car-Car anymore, but remember who you are and what your parents have taught you. You have turned into such a beautiful, bright and intelligent young lady. Thanks for being my best friend.