For the last year, so much has focused on the “big kid” school Keaton will attend to start kindergarten. Not only which school, but also if he would get a spot in the amazing dual language program (we are so grateful he did). We have talked to him so much about the new adventure and all the things he will learn… It wasn’t until he told me last week he is not ready to leave his school (daycare) that it hit me how hard this goodbye will be for me.
When you are a mom and have a child it is almost like guilt is handed out as you leave the hospital. We knew Keaton would be attending daycare and had ensured we made the best decision possible for him… but it didn’t matter our confidence and reasoning, everywhere I looked or thing I read was telling me how horrible mothers are for letting “others” raise their child. My favorite were those individuals who said “that is great for you, but I could never leave my child so young.” Honestly I would rather they just said they thought I was a bad mom than being passive aggressive…
We ended up switching daycares a few times over the first 2.5 years until we found the place that was a great match. The previous ones were not bad and during the time they loved and cared for Keaton wonderfully, but each move we knew was the right decision for us. We ended up at Kids R Kids Teravista three years ago and on Tuesday we will leave for our final time and my heart is breaking.
My heart hurts not because my child will be in elementary school and growing up. My heart hurts to say goodbye to amazing caretakers and teachers who have loved and taught my child the last three years. The walls of the building are where he learned to read, share with others, kindness, and how much the world has to offer. He learned and grew beside others different than him and he learned these difference are to be celebrated. As Keaton told me last night, “I am just as excited about starting my new school, as I am sad about leaving KRK.” And while I am looking forward to his new journey, the next few days I will spend time fully letting myself feel the sadness of this goodbye.
How do you say goodbye to a group of people who have been an integral part of your child’s development? How do you thank them for sharing extra compassion when they knew Matthew or I were out of town and it was a little harder for Keaton? How do you thank them for loving your child in such a genuine way? I have realized there is not way to fully express to the staff how much they mean to me… so I did the only thing I know to do… I baked them cookies. Cookies seems so small in comparison to what they have provided our family. I can only hope as they eat these cookies, they can feel a small amount of my appreciation… not just for loving my child, but also showing me there is nothing to feel guilty about with sending my child to daycare.
I truly believe my child is better off in this world because of these years in daycare. The providers have given him more than I could give him and I am ok realizing I am not nor can I be everything for my son.