Dear Preschool Teachers,
Oh, how I love you. I am hot mess in figuring out how to say good-bye to you. I just can’t figure out how to part with the love and kindness you have shown us over the past 6 years.
For my children, you have held hands and given hugs. You have celebrated every milestone. You have stayed calm in the midst of fits and frustration. You sang songs and rhymed rhymes. You taught them how to share, trade, or take turns. You taught them to do belly breathing when they started to get angry, to use their words to solve problems. You taught them to name their feelings and “breave in frough your nose yike dis when you get mad.”
You taught them love and kindness and patience and self-control. You oozed this out from your souls because your souls are so kind and so patient and so full of love.
You helped them remember to sit on the potty after lunch so you didn’t have to clean up their accidents, but if they had an accident, you helped them get cleaned up from that too.
But you were aware of all that.
What I don’t know if you realize is how much you helped me too. You showed me kindness and patience and love and self-control. You celebrated our family and our lives.
You taught me to “breave in frough my nose yike dis when I get mad.” You gave me the words to teach my children how to feel their feelings. You gave me an experienced example of calm in the storm.
But most importantly, you loved my children with your beautiful love after I kissed them goodbye and walked out of the preschool door. Because, for moms, drop-off at preschool feels like the moment you finish that really hard part of the workout and all you can do is put your hands on your knees and gulp oxygen for a minute.
You gave me time to have a conversation with a friend over a cup of coffee that was still hot without being interrupted a million times in the course of fifteen minutes. In addition, when my children were going to interrupt, you taught them to “tap tap tap” on my shoulder while I finished my thought, instead of jumping right in with their words.
You gave me time to regain my strength to be able to love on my children again.
You gave me time to cry alone in my house so I didn’t have to answer any questions about why mama was crying.
You gave me time to miss my children, time for my heart to replace the frustration with fondness.
You lightened my load by teaching them the things I was trying to teach them but couldn’t get through.
You gave me grace and forgiveness and encouragement. You told me I was doing a great job when I was sure I was scarring my children for life.
And it’s not just me. You call every child and every parent who walks through that door, “friend.” And you mean it.
When I think about all of the families your lives have touched, I marvel at how much love you have spread into this world. I marvel at how our school has changed lives and given parents so much peace and a chance to catch their breath.
You have been such a gift to my sons and to me, my friends. I am so very grateful for you. I am so very grateful for our school. And I am so very grateful for the internet so I can just send this to you instead of looking you in the eye and trying to say these things, because I look worse right now than after an episode of “This is Us.”
I love you dearly. Thank you for taking care of all of us.