Dear Preschool Teachers

Dear Preschool Teachers,

You've done it! You've made it to the end of the school year once again. Congratulations! I seriously don't know how you do it, as I specifically send my children to you to avoid being with them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (I kid, I kid...maybe.)

Next week my oldest daughter will leave your classroom for the last time. She's off to the great big world of public school Kindergarten and, God love her, she is excited. But like her momma she is tender and I'd be lying if I said we haven't each shed a few tears over this milestone.

When you send your first child to preschool you have no idea what to expect. You hope it will be fun for her and educational, provide you a with a little break, and maybe you'll each make some friends.
The reality of what happened over the last three years is so much more than I could have hoped for.

Oh if it hasn't been all kinds of fun! Class parties, water days, basket nights, mother's day teas, and so much more. And you know what the best part was? All the fun was simple. It was never over-produced or expensive or technological. It was imaginative, simple, good old days kind of fun.  And in having all the fun she learned all the things. She learned letters and numbers and sounds but she also learned how to get along, how to share, how to be kind (side note, my youngest child has been completely potty-trained by her preschool teacher, bless her.).

One of the great underrated services preschool teachers provide is giving moms everywhere a break, be it for their sanity or their career. Thank for you the hours you provided so I could clean my house, nurse my newborn, and eventually think fully formed thoughts and find time for things that make me feel a little bit more like myself.

I'm a feeler of all the feelings so the social component of anything is, well, everything. I couldn't wait for my tiny girl to make her first friends and in turn befriend their mommas. I love the friends we've both made and realizing we are all headed different places next year has been hard to swallow. It's been precious to see my girl learn about what it looks like to be a friend and for the two of us to greet kids and parents alike every morning on our way in to school.

But nothing has meant more to me than the teachers and staff who created a safe place to leave my first baby every day of preschool. They have loved her like their own, they have discovered what makes her special and affirmed her in all the best ways.  They let her be a kid and managed to instill lessons and values in her along the way. They were silly and flexible and showed us both boundless grace. In the end, they are who I will remember from this sweet, sweet season because they have made all the difference.

So thank you preschool teachers for the patience, the love, and all the handprint crafts I will never be able to throw away.