I said good bye to our day care center last week. My daughter will be entering a full-time preschool program at a magnet school in the fall, we have other child care arrangements made for the duration of the summer and this is, for all intents and purposes, our last hurrah.  There is no doubt I will thoroughly enjoy the extra cash I will have in my pocket.  I also know that the preschool Eliza will be attending is awesome and she is excited and ready, BUT man, closing this chapter has me feeling a bit emo.

When a phase in your life ends, it is often the people and not the actual day to day routine that you will miss most. This statement could not be truer when it comes to my time at as part of this day care.  The women I met over the past seven years have all played a role in my experience as a mom and my children’s childhoods.  What you did for me and my family will never be lost on me.

Thank you to Noah’s first teacher in the infant room who was coincidentally a mom of childhood, family friends.  What an incredible comfort to be able to leave my 6 month old baby (my first!) with someone I knew.  She counseled me during those first few months with a calmness only a seasoned grandmother could.  It was just what I needed.

Thank you to the teachers who had to deal with the clinginess of morning drop offs.  They always comforted and redirected my child (especially Eliza) so that I was able to leave without feeling like my heart was breaking.

Thank you to the teachers who instituted potty training boot camp and binky rehab in their classroom.  When I didn’t have the drive or the energy to push this much needed agenda at home, they supported me and helped me follow through.

Thank you for the Mother’s and Father’s day gifts the creativity and thoughtfulness was appreciated.

Thank you for all the daily reports and pictures.  I will very much miss knowing exactly what my kids ate during the day, how long they slept, and see who they are playing with throughout the day.

Thank you for the efforts made to make our community special.  The Earth Day and Halloween parades, visits from the ice cream man, birthday celebrations, crazy hair, pajama, and spirit days.  The work it takes to give us all something to celebrate is not lost on me.

Thank you for the patience, respect, and love that you have shown me and my children.  From having to hand out a sticker everyday as we were leaving to holding my baby (Zachary) for nap time when he refused to sleep for more than ten minutes in his crib.  It’s been a good ride.

The friends I have made through this experience are the definition of “keepers”. We have been there for each other through rough transitions to a new classroom, shared war stories in the parking lot, and traded advice while juggling our babies on our hips.  Every day I seem to be smacked in the face by the lesson that when the demands of motherhood are multiplying and your confidence is dwindling, having a village to raise you up is essential.  My village was built by the moms I met at day care.

I can’t help but to savor good byes like a fine piece of chocolate. I have a hard time with change and being able to soak it in and really dwell on the good times (and sometimes bad) helps me accept a new reality and move forward.

The last lunch made, last bag packed.

The last drop off and of course, the last pick up.

The drama might be lost on a casual observer, but not on another mom because damn it, they grow up so fast!  It’s easy to think these “last days” won’t ever come and then they surprisingly arrive and you’re left to ponder what it all means.  As I walked out of the center on our collective last day, I made sure I looked into each room I passed and remembered my babies (all three), their friends and teachers, and the mom I was at each of the different phases from six months to age five, all the growing pains in between and thought:  Look at us!  We have come so far!

Thank you for walking beside me on this journey.

I will miss this rock garden.

I will miss this rock garden.