It was love at first sight... of the evil eye. Sounds strange, but that's what sitter Kayla Anderson, and parent Teri Laliberte had to say about their first meeting.
"I just noticed some artwork, and I was like, 'Wait, I've seen all of this before,'" said Anderson on her first visit to the Laliberte home.
About two years ago, Anderson, 18, a student at Northern Kentucky University, spent a year in Turkey. About 10 years ago, Laliberte, 39, spent two years teaching English as a Second Language in Turkey. In Turkish culture, a piece of artwork in the shape of a disc or ball, consisting of blue and white circles representing an evil eye, is used to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits, according to Wikipedia. For Anderson and Laliberte, though, this blue, glass symbol did more than that--it spurred the beginning of a unique and treasured sitter-family relationship.
"I was in Turkey long before her, so it was interesting to hear Kayla talk about it," said Laliberte. "But it wasn't even just the Turkey connection; it was just a really nice fit."
During that fated first visit, as Laliberte walked Anderson through the home and explained the family rules, the similarities continued. Laliberte prefers that her three children do activities rather than watch television; Anderson herself grew up without cable. Living in another culture taught both Anderson and Laliberte to value many of the same customs, creating endless opportunities for conversations on shared viewpoints.
Just as the sitter and parent meet each others' needs so well in this unique situation, so too does BabysitEase continue to make life easier for both parties. Anderson will continue to take care of Elly, Madeleinne and Logan Laliberte as it fits into her college class and social schedule, and Laliberte will continue to schedule a sit each time one of her students schedules an appointment to learn English as a Second Language from her.
"When I started getting more and more ESL students, I needed regular babysitting," said Laliberte. "The flexibility, yet the reliability (of BabysitEase), fits our family's needs."