Sometimes very special people come into your life unexpectedly. When those very special people also happen to be the caregivers of your only child is when you know you are truly blessed.
Nearly three years ago to the day, I took my two year old – my crazy, wild, stubborn, sarcastic, would-not-potty-train-for-anything little girl – to preschool for the first time. I didn’t know any of these people, and I was terrified to let go of her and walk out the door. I’m pretty sure that I called and/or emailed several times that day, just to make sure she was okay. Deep down I knew she was okay. The emails and calls were really for my own well-being. I got through my fears, and Lucy thrived.
Within a month, Lucy was potty trained. She started eating foods she had refused before. She learned to share. She learned to stand up for herself. She learned her ABCs and then learned the sounds they make. She started singing random songs out of nowhere that boggled mine and Cory’s minds and made us laugh hysterically. She grew smarter. She grew sassier. She has always been sweet.
I call it preschool, but it has been so much more than that. It has been daycare when I’m at work. It has been fun and games and the best place to play. It has been life lessons (sometimes learned the hard way). It has been friendship and love and support and new discoveries. It has been a new best friend every day. It has been celebrations. It has been a dozen or so women (and occasional man) who have helped me raise my daughter. These individuals have been there for her when I couldn’t be. They’ve taught her and loved her and have helped make her the beautiful person she is. They’ve been comforting arms when she is sad or sick. They’ve kissed her owies and held ice packs to her head (Lucy obviously inherited my grace and poise). They’ve been my eyes and ears when I am not with her. They’ve been her protectors.
And for everything they’ve done for Lucy, they’ve done just as much for me. They’ve assured me that all the weird things my child does is completely normal. They’ve offered advice to get us through the tougher days. They laugh with me and cry with me and offer their unending support and friendship.
I know that these women love my daughter almost as much as I do, and words simply do not exist that can adequately describe how important they have been to our lives these past three years. Even though today we say goodbye, they will always be a part of our lives. Lucy’s first memories happened while she was with them. A large part of who she is is because of them. Julie made her sassy. Sarah made her silly. Tami made her smart. They’ve all helped her become the lovely little person that she is.
So I just want to say thank you to the amazing people at LPA. Thank you for choosing the profession you did and for loving what you do. Thank you for taking us in and making us feel at home. But most importantly, thank you for loving and protecting my baby. We love you.
I have to end it here, because now I’m crying.