|From The View I Love the Most|
Yesterday was a big day. I picked up Claire and Drew from their last day of preschool. I got a little teary on the way to school as made the usual trip. Claire and Cohen in the back singing to the "knock knock song" (Knock 3 times by Tony Orlando!) while we point out the usual things, Claire's kindergarten, roadkill, cows, choo choo tracks, the lake, buoy bird, the fire station and at last OUR SCHOOOOOOL!!!!!! I know my children must grow up. I know that I only have them for a short while, but my heart aches at the thought of my first born going to kindergarten. I can't even begin to think about my BABY going, but I have 3 years to adjust to that thought!
When I picked the kids up, I was overwhelmed with emotion. These are the people who have been there through it all. The birth of Cohen and Levi, years of struggling with doctors to figure out what was going on with Claire, a cancer diagnosis, and the loss of a friend. They were there for Drew as he was adjusting to his world where chemo and tumors were hot topics. They celebrated with us when we finally discovered Claire's insulin resistance and marveled as her medication transformed her into the sweet girl we knew was in there! They raised money for the Stephanie Phillips Foundation as well as for St. Jude (in honor of our sweet friend Cross). It's like an extended family. We are on our knees when Cross goes for his checkups and they do the same for us. The teachers meet us at the door desperate for good news. On a lighter note, they have taught our children SO much this year. They have done so many neat things with them. The scrapbook they gave us at the end of the year was priceless. Most importantly, they love each and every child as if they were their own. And you already know how I feel about the moms in the group! I think that most of the tears were triggered by the thought of sending Claire to anyone else but these wonderful people. Her class has 12 kids and only 2 of them will be going to the same school next year! (Of course, we don't know where we will end up since we are house hunting!) I will miss them all terribly.
I was holding it together pretty well until I opened a letter from the teachers. Here is what it said...
We give you back your child, the same child you entrusted to our care last fall. We give her back pounds heavier, inches taller, months wiser , more responsible and more mature than she was then. Although she would have attained this in spite of us, it has been our happy privilege to watch her personality unfold day by day and marvel at each new achievement, each new success, each new expansion of self. We give her back reluctantly; for having spent nine months together in the narrow confines of a crowded classroom, we have grown close, have become a part of each other and shall always retain a little part of each other. We have lived, loved, laughed, played, studied, learned and enriched our lives together this year. We wish it could go on indefinitely, but give her back we must. Take care of her for she is precious and only one of a kind. Remember that we shall always be interested in your child and her destiny, wherever she goes, whatever she does, whoever she becomes. Her joys and sorrows we will be happy to share. Please call on us if there is anything further we can ever do for her.
Needless to say, I was a blubbering mess. If you knew her teachers and the rest of the staff (most of which have been her teachers at one point) you would know that they truly mean every word of that. It's not just an arbitrary end of the year note home. They mean every word.
To our favorite preschool staff,
You may never know how much we love and appreciate you. I am not sure we would have ever made it through without your support. Thank you for loving our kids like your own. I entrusted you with my first born and never imagined in a million years that preschool could have ever been such an amazing experience. Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for being you.
To our favorite preschool parents,
I loved watching all your kids grow. You all have done such a great job with your little ones. They are all so special and have such neat personalities. It is always a joy to hear stories when the kids get in the car about who said what at school! I say we vote for a k-12 program so the kids can just stay together until graduation!! I will start the petition now! I pray for each one of your children a life full of love, laughter and learning. I will miss seeing their sweet faces in the mornings and chatting with you all after we drop them off. You are a very special bunch and I feel blessed to have met you.
Here's to the next chapter of our lives!