I can clearly remember my first week back in March when I'd just started working for the family. We'd come back to the house after school, and Ashley somehow convinced me (well, almost) that there were 'bergies' living in their 3rd garage. (This garage was actually being rented to the old man next door as a place to store his prized Jaguar). There was a big sign on the garage door that said "Keep Away", and in my head I knew there was no way this family would allow 'bergies' to sleep in their garage and come upstairs for showers and to use the bathroom! Ashley kept this story up for the next 45 minutes and was so convincing that I had just about believed her. Talk about gullible! I felt so silly afterwards and of course I didn't let on that I'd almost believed her and told her that I knew it was a joke the entire time :P
And so, Ashley and I had many, many hours of those sort of jokes during our time together (some that weren't so nice and included her pretending to choke, faint, fall, get locked in a public bathroom and call security, cry, have a pet snake, vomit, bleed, etc.) I won't be surprised at all if she ends up doing theatre or working in TV one day!
I learnt a lot from Ashley and from my time with the family. I held a baby and changed a nappy for the first time - I was terrified at first, but to Ashley the 10 year old, it was almost like second nature. I never realised how much patience I could have with children, and just how far they can push me (I know now), how much energy I actually have, and how easy it is to bring myself down to their level.
My favourite memories of this whole experience were probably the times we had to just relax when we weren't rushing to get to extra murals or doing homework - but when it was a quiet afternoon and we could bake cupcakes and watch a movie together, play UNO (I could never win this game!), ride bikes together, take a walk to visit the horse down the road, play arcade games at the mall or go for an ice-cream.
I am so glad that I had the opportunity to do this, and this is one of those things I will never forget and look back at fondly for the rest of my life. Ashley and I formed such a close bond during our time together and though I'm still a little heart sore to have parted ways so soon, I'm so grateful and happy for our time together. I hope that I managed to teach her a few things as she's taught me, and I have very high hopes for her. I know that she is going to go far in life, because she truly has a heart of gold.
I now have just a little glimpse as to what lies ahead and I can honestly say that I am really looking forward to having children of my own in the near future. I truly can't wait. :)