I’ll never forget that Thursday: I was tagged in a photo from a 2002 Cecil Country Club swim meet, and it hit me: A friend request from Sarah Colby. What was Sarah, the precocious seven-year old I had babysat for years, doing on Facebook? Further investigation proved something I never thought I would have to face: The girl I babysat is now a grown-up.
How could this be? When I knew her, she was just a child, never exhibiting any interest in adult activities. Why would she transform herself like this? These questions flew through my head as I clicked through little Sarah’s Facebook profile. I’m not a doctor, but from what I observed Sarah was 22 years old, had a boyfriend named Sanjay, and had recently graduated from Bard College. It was horrible. This was not the girl I knew.
I decided to take action. I called the Colby’s home on Dallam Rd. to get some answers. “Sarah doesn’t live here,” said her mother, acting disturbingly unfazed. “She lives in Baltimore. You should text her, I’m sure she’d love to hear from you.” I had to grip a nearby table to prevent myself from fainting. Not only was Sarah living on her own in a big city, her parents had let her get a cell phone.
I left a voice mail to let her know that I, her babysitter, was still here for her. “Hey Sarah-bear! It’s your favorite babysitter, Su-su. Rocket Power is almost on and I made ants on a log WITHOUT raisins. Give me a call back please!” Thirty-three calls later and she still had not answered.
Days have passed from this traumatic realization and I’m still doing my best to cope. Now every day, I glue googly eyes on a seashell in Sarah’s memory. I’m planning a memorial at the “scary tree” she would make us cross the street to avoid. I know it’s what Sarah would have wanted, if she weren’t so busy studying for her GREs.