I do things just because they have to be done. I don't look for a pat on the back or even a thank you.
Five years ago a friend asked if I would be an emergency house in case his kids needed something on the way to school. My house is between his house and the school so it was very convenient.
Over the five years I was not called on for any assistance whatsoever. The kids didn't have a problem where they needed to come to my place.
On the other hand I had quite a few very good visits. If I was out in the yard they would stop for a visit. Conversation was easy with both kids. I usually went away having learned something or having a good laugh .
The only serious incident turned out to be funny. One day after school I was talking to the little girl. Apparently somebody drove around the block three times to check on the man talking to the little girl. After three times they decided I was okay but reported to her Dad. Their Dad had a big laugh and related the story to me.
This was the last year for me to watch the kids. They both go to another school next year.
The other day I answered a knock on the door and the kids were there with a thank you card. I was blown away. I didn't expect anything. They both said how much they appreciated having the security of being able to check in at my house. They promised to check on me and have a visit once in a while.
Surprise appreciation is the best.