Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How far we've come. A letter of thanks.

Hot Dad and I carefully selected a child care provider when we were expecting our first child, Ethel.  We have remained customers all these years, and now that the kids are older, and both will be in school full time later this month (he's not really going to kindergarten, is he?), we will be using the services of another program for before and after school care.  Our reasons are many, not the least of which is our bottom line.  Regardless, we've had a relationship with our provider for over seven years, and today is our final day of attendance.  I say we, because while Fred is our only child currently enrolled, our whole family is a part of his attendance. 

The cost saving is going to make a world of difference, but the emotional aspect of ending our tenure at the center is weighing on me today, our last day.  So I sent this letter of thanks to the director and staff.

To the entire staff;

January 28, 2005 (it was a Friday) was Ethel’s first day at the day care. I dropped her off, hoping there were enough bottles and diapers for her for the few hours I’d be leaving her. This was my practice run before returning to work the following Monday. I was as nervous about her day as I was about mine. I wasn’t even sure I was packing the right things for her. Nonetheless, I packed her stuff, unloaded it in the infant room, laid her in a swing, and she was none the wiser. Not a peep. With no fanfare about things, I kissed her forehead and went grocery shopping. Alone. It was awesome.

Two years later, in 2007, Fred joined the army of infants and we went through the same drill. A kiss on the forehead, barely a blink from Fred, and Ethel and I were off to visit a friend and spend some time together. What a difference two years made. Still, I was unsure of how many bottles and diapers to send, and whether I sent the right outfits for him.

Guess what – it all turned out fine. They both did great on their first days. And so did I.

So much has transpired in those seven and a half years. The kids grew (despite my constant demands that they not), they started walking and talking (often to my dismay), they began eating solid food, writing their names, and discovering the world around them, all thanks to the love and care they have always received at the day care.

As parents, we all want what is best for our children, and we make decisions based on what we feel is best for our family, and what works for our family. It’s never easy to leave your child, let alone your infant, in the arms of another person, but, I assure you that we never had a doubt that both kids were in the right place. Ethel and Fred have both thrived in this center, and for that we couldn’t be more grateful.

There are too many memories to recount in a simple letter, and there are too many thank yous to list in even a few pages. Every one of the staff in this center today has helped Ethel and Fred grow and become the individuals they are today. The kids have changed, so have so many things here at the center, and we are proud that we have been witness to all of it.

The job of caring for other peoples’ children is not one to be taken lightly. We parents ask a lot of those who spend most of the work week with our kids. I believe that this staff understands that and takes that job seriously. From diapers and bottles to chairs and table manners, and from potty training to potty words, Hot Dad and I couldn’t have done it without all of you.

Ethel and Fred are probably too young to understand what a big deal their last day at Bright Horizons is, and I’m not old enough to have kids. OK, so that last part isn’t true. The drawers full of art projects and daily report sheets, the myriad of pictures of the kids in the classrooms, and memories Hot Dad and I will share with them will provide them the evidence of their first years and adventures over the last seven and a half years at the day care.

Thank you for all the love and support you’ve given our two kids. Thank you for the support you have given me and Hot Dad as we navigate the strange world of parenting. Cooperation and flexibility are things we’re working on with the kids, but something we’ve always had with the staff.

I hope we can keep in touch.  The kids have become as much a part of your life as you have of theirs.

Ethel is not good on the spot, and Fred doesn’t like to be told when to say something, so I will say this for them – THANK YOU!

Thank you, from me and Hot Dad, for everything. It will be a very strange thing not to be dropping the kids off on Monday morning. Very strange for all of us.


Ethel and Fred and family