A Letter to my Son’s Preschool

Maxwell, Preschool Graduate

Maxwell, Preschool Graduate

Dear Lakeside Teachers,

Five years ago, I drove down the street with a two-year old fussing in his car seat and a baby squirming in my belly.  I was tired.  I was two months away from the birth of my second son, Max and his in-utero energy foretold busier days ahead.  I had been driving all day, scouting preschools for Sam.  I had to find The. Perfect. One. Yes, I was that mom.

Five preschool tours and as many disappointments later, I drove home in a daze.  My head flopped on the headrest and my ears desperately tried to shut out the sounds of my over-tired son.  A few miles from home, a banner caught my eye, “We offer preschool and Kindergarten – Ages 2 and up.”  Two and up?  I swerved my big-brick SUV into the parking lot and promised Sam this would be our last stop.  I met Ms. Marti that day and she gave me a tour.  Lakeside was perfect.  I was sold.

A week later Sam had his first day at Lakeside Fellowship Preschool.  My aching hips and expanding waist welcomed the break, but my heart shattered into a million pieces as I walked my son to class.

It had taken me more than a month to acclimate Sam to child care at the gym, so I was prepared for a full-on meltdown as he entered his classroom for the first time.  His teacher knelt and smiled warmly at Sam and soon he was sitting at a table building a 2-year old masterpiece with Play-Doh.  No tears, no fits, no hesitation.  At least not from Sam.

For the next five years, I took my boys to school convinced that I was sharing the privilege of their company with the teachers and staff at Lakeside.  I was sacrificing precious hours with my sons to send them to school for socializing and some nifty crafts.  Sure, they would learn the alphabet and burn some energy on the playground, but could these educators understand the gift I was giving them?  Did they know how truly special my children are and the love they have to offer?  After five years of sharing my kids with this group of amazing women, I learned that the privilege is all mine.  They are more than educators – they are family.

How do I say thank you?  How do I sum up five years of love and caring in one short letter?  How do I convey my gratitude?  My appreciation?

Thank you for loving my children.  Thank you for giving them a foundation from which they will build their entire education.  Thank you for being so incredibly dedicated to the kids you teach and for being profoundly good at what you do.  Thank you for your support and making us feel like we belong, even as our family dynamic changed.  Thank you for touching our family in ways you’ll never truly know and for sharing the love of God with us all.

Our experience at Lakeside has shaped us as a family.  It’s made me a better parent and made Sam and Max better kids.  I am forever grateful for what you’ve taught us.  I will miss you all and I will never forget you.

Goodbye, Lakeside.

With gratitude,

Shannon

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28. May 2013 by Shandmin
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