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It feels like just yesterday that I brought Elizabeth in for her first day of school. I was a wreck that day – while we were confident in our decision to send her to the Depot, I was so sad to leave my new little buddy for the first time. I’m happy to say that of the 1,981 days that have followed, none have been as hard as the first… until this day came.
1,982 days have gone by in a blink of an eye. I knew we couldn’t be at the school forever, though I’ve hinted around, not so subtly, that perhaps offering elementary school wouldn’t be a bad idea. And once you’ve done that, how hard could it be to get certified to teach high school? The decision to leave is so hard now, and it would be just as hard a year from now when Caroline went off to kindergarten. There will never be an easy time to leave – you are our cushion, our safety net, and the place where our girls have grown up. You’ve all been the role models that my girls needed, and were able to step in and give them hugs, kisses and cuddles when we weren’t able to be there. This has been a letter that I’ve started and erased dozens of times over the last few weeks. I’m not sure that I will ever find the right words to be able to express the gratitude and appreciation that we feel for what you’ve done for our family.
I think back to the Open House that we attended while I was pregnant with Elizabeth. We were two clueless soon to be parents with no idea how to change a diaper, never mind about what questions we were supposed ask the future caretakers of our children! Miss Diana was so calm and confident and didn’t laugh in our faces when we asked questions like “you’ll feed her, right?” It was because of our meeting with her that we immediately signed Elizabeth up (you can all thank her later, haha)..We want you to know how much of an impression you’ve left on our girls. They talk about you during the weekend, wake up on Monday mornings excited to see you all – they make pictures for you at home, can pick out each of your cars in the parking lot, and run in to greet you each morning. You’ve also left an impression on Gabe and I – we admire your strength, patience (!!!), calm, stern ways, your love and your magic ability to get 10 kids to sit at a table and eat lunch!
You’ve always gone above and beyond for our family. I could give you the “we had a hard morning” look across the room and one of you would immediately be there to scoop up the girls and hold them tight while I went to work. Nothing could brighten up my day more than finding a photo in my inbox from an activity that they did during the day. Showing up to find Caroline perched happily in someone’s lap (her favorite place to be), or seeing Elizabeth at a table working on her letters with Miss Melissa or Miss Ally. And of course, we could never leave without running into the office to give Miss Amy a hug. Caroline always liked to announce that Little Houdelette had entered the building. And the phone calls and emails. Oh the phone calls and emails! Each one was answered with understanding, enthusiasm, and follow through...and usually some humor, which I appreciate! We’ve learned songs that will be stuck in our heads for years to come
They’ve listened to the Abiyoyo tape story approximately five thousand times
Elizabeth and Caroline have some pretty sweet dance moves, thanks to the many freeze dance parties!
Potty training. You made it fun! And easy! (Easy for me to say, right?)
Our favorite family saying “You get what you get, and you don’t get upset” (thank you Miss Deb!) got us through many potential arguments at home!
They’ve made friends that will last a lifetime. (We’ve made friends that will last a lifetime, too!)
If paper cutting and musical chairs were Olympic sports, we’d be preparing for the 2028 games.
You’ve celebrated with us – first teeth, first steps, first pig tails (!!), learning how to write their names…
They learned how to share, how play well with other kids, and patience (except during musical chairs – that is a serious competition)
And perhaps the most important, you’ve made them feel special.
Because of you, both girls are very excited for their new adventures. You’ve helped us raise some unbelievably confident, determined, and happy little girls. You’ve given them so many tools they can use in the future, and are sending them off better than I could have ever imagined.
1,982 days ago I thought it was going to be impossible to walk through those doors to drop Elizabeth off, now I can’t imagine walking out. Thank you, thank you, thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.
- Kate H.,
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