Today marked my children’s very last day at their daycare, Small Scholars University, a place that has loved and nurtured my family for the past seven years. Tomorrow, it will close its doors for the last time, and our experiences there will be a memory, one that I will carry with me for a lifetime.
I still remember when we first started at the center in August 2006. Being a first time mom with Alexandra and never having had a daycare experience when I was a child, I was beyond paranoid and sad to leave my child. “How do people do this to their children?!” I thought. I could not have been more narrow-minded, as my daycare turned out to be one of the best parenting decisions that I have made. My fears were alleviated after a meeting with Susie. She welcomed my family in and answered all of the questions that I had. When I dropped Lex off on her first day, she ran to play, leaving me at the door with tears in my eyes. Wasn’t she supposed to be the one crying about me leaving her at daycare? Obviously not. She was excited to be there, and that made me happy.
Adrianna came along in January 2007, and she started at Small Scholars about 3 months after she was born. The same goes for Cole and Cael, who joined their sisters and the great teachers at the center while they were still babies in fall 2008. I think the teachers were as influential in raising my younger three as I have been, and all four of my children have thrived there. I also used to joke that my family was the one that was keeping them in business. If you haven’t guess yet, affording daycare for four kids was expensive, even with the generous family discount, but it was worth every cent.
Many changes have occurred over the last seven years (more children, divorce, new houses, elementary school, etc.), but one thing that remained constant in my children’s lives was daycare. I think the support given by the teachers really helped them through the incredibly difficult time in 2009 when I moved out of the family home to begin life on my own. Daycare was a safe place for them in a time when everything was changing, and it helped ease major transitions.
Small Scholars University was so much more than just a daycare and preschool. It was an extension of our family. The teachers showed a genuine concern for my children and have always treated them with love and kindness (and have given them a time-out or two when they needed it). They have taught them important life lessons about sharing, friendship, and generosity to name a few. They have made it a place that my children look forward to attending. In the seven years that we have been there I have never once had to drag my children kicking and screaming into daycare because they didn’t want to go. I consider that a major accomplishment.
To all of the teachers, past and present, (Susie, Ginny, Hilary, Malerie, Kaitlynne, Lindsay, Beth, Bobbie, Zoe, and others) – thank you for shaping my children’s lives in such a positive way and caring for them. I trusted you with my most prized possessions, and you have exceeded my highest expectations. Please know that I am forever grateful to you.