So, I spent this past weekend attending the beautiful wedding of two friends in scenic Beaver Creek, Colorado. I had never been there before, and the place is breath-taking. Of course, thanks to Hurricane Irene, I am currently stranded in Atlanta…but that’s a different story.
I was lucky enough to shack-up with various friends for the two nights I was there – both people with whom I am connected through my sleepaway summer camp (Aloha Camp – www.alohafoundation.org – in Fairlee, VT – an amazing organization with which I have been associated since 1983, but I digress yet again). One of these friends came to Colorado with her husband and two kids – ages 12 and 13 – and while the kids were invited to the celebrations on Friday night, the Saturday night ceremony and reception were for adults only. My friend was lucky that her kids were old enough to spend the night responsibly by themselves in the hotel room, and they had a great time watching TV and snacking on junk food in our absence. But the scenario reminded me of another wedding six years ago, and a personal situation that didn’t work out quite as smoothly for our family.
You see, at the time, Chris and I were attending my best friend’s wedding in Dallas, TX, and our first child was less than a year old. This wedding was also an adult-only event, and we knew no one in Dallas – other than the bride- and groom-to-be and other wedding guests – who could watch our son for the evening while I stood at my best friend’s side. We knew no sitters, no college kids – no one. I won’t bore you with the details, but in the end, we wound up investigating several nanny services, and finally choosing one…which cost us $75 to join, even though we were only going to use the service once, and then $25/hr for the duration of the sitting services during my friend’s wedding. The wedding was beautiful, we had a wonderful time, and yes, we felt that we’d left our baby boy in good hands. The sitter sent to our hotel that night had undergone a background check, and she certainly seemed competent during the brief interactions we had with her. And…the process of trying to get some kid coverage was both nerve-wracking and pretty ridiculously expensive.
Which brings me to the moral of my perhaps self-indulgent story, which is this: We have great sitters, companions, and aides at BrightStar if you’re coming to Boston for a wedding or for any other event. We don’t charge a “joining or registration fee,” and all of our caregivers have gone through an extensive screening process which includes an interview, background check, drug screen, reference checks, skills check, and in-depth orientation. In fact, of every 100 people who inquire about a job at BrightStar, we hire only 7 or 8. That’s because every time we interact with a potential new Team Member, we ask ourselves, “Is this someone I would want caring for my child, my mom, or my dad?” We’ve helped grandparents enjoy their grandchildren’s B’nai Mitzvah, we’ve helped seniors enjoy their adult kids’ weddings, and we’ve helped newer parents enjoy some down time while their young ones are well cared-for in their absence.
This past weekend, the kids were at home with Chris and childcare was not an issue for us. I enjoyed the wedding…and now I get to enjoy trying to find a way home. And…given the nature of these last two posts, I bet you can guess where we’ll get our next KidCare expert for our own boys, whether we need a sitter at home in the Boston suburbs, or whether we’re traveling elsewhere as a family. From our family to yours – superior care you can depend on.