Reflections from the Babysitter

I first got to know the Sankrithi family through Siva, who taught me geometry my freshman year of high school. That also happened to be the year Sarang was born, and I remember meeting him when he was just a few weeks old and Siva took a break from his paternity leave to bring him to campus. A few years later, during the summer after my freshman year of college, I spent most of my afternoons babysitting Sarang, while Vivaan napped and Siva ran errands. That summer, I became close with not only Sarang, but every member of the family, as Aarti and Siva were generous enough to let me hang around as long as I wanted even after they got home, and often even let me stay for dinner. Today, I’m living in Italy as a digital nomad, but pretty much every day I take a moment to recognize how fortunate I feel to have spent so much time with the Sankrithis that summer, and to still consider them close friends, whom I make sure to see whenever I’m back in the Pacific Northwest. All four of them are such radiant, thoughtful, and warm people that it’s simply impossible to spend time with them and leave without feeling a little more optimistic about the world. That feeling carries over to this book, which I have been fortunate enough to get a preview of while helping the Sankrithis edit it. Even if you don’t have kids and/or aren’t planning on having them–personally, I’m still undecided there–the philosophies spelled out in this book aren’t just applicable to parenting, but to decision-making in the context of any sort of relationship, including the one you have with yourself. The thoughts, experiences, and reflections shared by the Sankrithis do just what Siva used to do for me in geometry class, all those years ago: provide some order and direction, in a world that can feel overwhelming more often than not.

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