The garbage collector took care of my children for 25 minutes and I decided to hire him as a full time babysitter

“Now, are you sure Dr. Morales is not available?”, I asked Nurse Carla over the phone, as I started to get ready to leave.

“Dr. Morales is out of town, although he will try to get here. You live nearby, so I thought I’d give you a call. The interns have no idea what they’re doing.”

“I know it’s your day off, but I didn’t know what else to do. Could you come?” the nurse asked, trying not to sound worried.

“I’ll be there as soon as I can. I just need to find a sitter,” I replied and hung up.

I immediately called Vicky, who was the only person who could handle my three naughty children.

I have been a surgeon for a long time, but before that I had the support of my husband Peter. By mutual agreement, we had decided that he would stay at home and take care of our children. But he passed away from a sudden heart attack, and I was left in charge of everything.

Now, I had to find babysitters when unexpected emergencies occurred. The kids were terrible and not easy to handle. Two nannies had quit after only one day on the job.

Unfortunately, they had taken it upon themselves to spread the rumors that my children José Luis, 9, Cristina, 7, and Lucy, 3, were uncontrollable. The worst part was that they were not wrong. Luckily, Vicky still agreed to babysit them.

“I’m sorry, Mrs. Olivia. I can’t babysit today. I’m sick and can barely move,” Vicky said in a weak voice. I told her to get some rest and hung up the phone.

The staff at the hospital nursery already knew my children and we had had some arguments in the past. But at this point, they seemed to be my best alternative; I would have to leave them there.

Suddenly, I heard the children shout, “Uncle Beto! Uncle Beto!”.

I sighed. They didn’t have an uncle. The local garbage collector was so kind and sweet that the children called him uncle. I had known him for many years and my children adored him.

Jose Luis opened the front door and everyone came out to greet him.

I smiled as I watched them play with Beto. My kids had turned into little demons after their father’s death. The therapist said it was normal and would pass, but I wasn’t so sure. I felt like a failure and didn’t know what to do.

As I watched the children hug and ask Uncle Beto to play with them, an idea occurred to me. “It has to work,” I said to myself and walked to meet them.

“Roberto, I have kind of a crazy request,” I said to the garbage collector. “I know you’re busy. But I was wondering if you could watch my kids for 25 minutes. I have to check on something urgent at the hospital, and I don’t have anyone else,” I pleaded, and my children looked at me with wide eyes full of surprise.

“Sure, Dr. Sierra. I can watch them for a while,” he replied, nodding and smiling.

“They give work. I’m warning you,” I said sheepishly.

“Don’t worry. Go ahead. Your work is important,” he told me. I ran out, hoping my house wouldn’t be completely destroyed by the time I got back.

It took much longer than 25 minutes, as Dr. Morales was stuck in traffic and the patient’s situation became urgent. I had to attend the emergency surgery and was not able to vacate until three hours later.

I felt so bad for Roberto, who obviously had work to finish. I drove home as fast as I could.

“Beto! Beto! I’m sorry!” I shouted breathlessly as I opened the door, but I froze.

My whole house…wait, is this my house? No way, it was spotless. My house was always full of toys, crayons, paper, and sometimes peanut butter stains. I know. Terrible. Don’t judge me.

“Dr. Sierra, how was your surgery? Everything okay?” asked Beto when he appeared in the hallway.

“What happened here? My house… it’s unrecognizable. And why aren’t the children screaming and running around?”, I asked, very confused and surprised.

“Lucy is napping; Cristina and Jose Luis are in their rooms, reading,” he told me, and I swear, my jaw dropped to the floor.

“Are you kidding me?”.

“No, you can see for yourself,” he replied with a smile.

My eyes could not accept what they saw. But Beto had told me the truth.

“How did you do this?”, I wanted to know.

“Oh, Dr. Sierra. Many years ago I was a single parent. Mine were ten times worse than these three angels,” he laughed. “I taught them to take care of themselves and always read them stories. Your children were delighted. Maybe you need to buy them more books.”

I nodded, dazzled. No one had ever called my children “angels,” and they had never been interested in the few books they owned.
“I can’t believe it,” I whispered.

“It was easy. But now I have to go,” Beto said, picking up his work jacket from the back of a chair.

“Oh, yes. I’m so sorry I was late. Too bad about you,” I said, touching my forehead. “I’ll pay you triple.”

“No. No. I don’t need money,” he replied, shaking his head.

“Please. For the extra time,” I insisted with my sweet look. I knew Beto couldn’t refuse.

“Okay, I’ll treat the kids to something nice,” he laughed. “Goodbye, Dr. Sierra, have a nice day!”.

“Thank you!”, I repeated.

My kids were good for the rest of the afternoon and I almost cried. It was the best day ever. So, I called Beto and offered him a full-time babysitting job, tripling his current salary and adding health benefits.

I didn’t have to push too hard. He told me he had really enjoyed taking care of them. With Beto’s help, I discovered that my children needed someone to make them feel safe and loved, because that’s what they had with their father.

I was so happy to have found the solution to my problem! Beto spoke to my children with kindness, patience and lots of love.

I did the best I could, but at his side I learned to be more understanding and closer to my children, especially since they were no longer screaming and tearing up the house. We grew closer every day.

Beto became my personal hero. Over the years, I understood that he had come into my life because the universe knew my children needed him.

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TOUCHING FATES