I was in high demand to provide babysitting services to friends of my dad's. I could just see him at work when a coworker might say he is looking for someone to watch the kids. Dad might have said "my daughter looks after children" and home he would come and sure enough I would get a phone call.
I never minded. I loved children. Years before I would be the one playing with friends' younger brothers and sisters when I would visit them. Looking back I feel that I was very young to be "in charge" of 2 or 3 siblings or babies just home from the hospital. But at the time it didn't phase me at all. Even when I held down full time jobs, I would help friends and family out by giving them a break and allowing them to go out for the night.
Even way back then, I could pick up vibes being put out by children. This one seemed tired, that one was exhausted, he behaved this way because... I always felt like I knew what an underlying problem was, I would address it and children would behave better. Parents wondered what kind of magic I had over them. They marveled that I always knew what to do. But the secret was, I felt the children were letting me know somehow.