Today, both of my children will say goodbye to their current care takers. I found out a few weeks ago that my son’s provider, whom I have referred to here on this site before as Mary Poppins, is moving to Southern California. Little Miss is completing her last day at preschool, and will be starting a public kindergarten in a few weeks.
It’s bitter sweet. Especially in the case of Mary Poppins… Her entire family has come to feel like an extension of our family. She has truly been Little Man’s second mother, watching him ever since he was 5 months old.
It is a funny story how I met her. I was at the pool with Little Miss 3 years ago when a woman there casually asked me where I took my daughter for childcare. When I told her the institutional daycare she was at, the woman immediately got up, got her cell phone, and said, “you have to meet Lori.”
I thought this was strange. I wasn’t really looking for a change. I wasn’t really dissatisfied… But when Lori called me back telling me she had an opening, and I showed up at her house, my whole perspective changed. I walked in, and got this overwhelming sense of this is what I’ve been looking for. The house was immaculently clean, she had a nice backyard with all kinds of fun things for kids, and most of all, she has such a loving and bubbly personality that she was truly irresistable. Plus, her husband was a cop!
Little Miss went to Lori for 1.5 years before transitioning to preschool, and Little Man has also been there about 1.5 years. Every morning at drop off, the house smells divinely of freshly made waffles. I often wanted to come in and park myself at the table with the kids for breakfast.
While I’m happy for Lori and the adventure her family is embarking on, it is sad for me on multiple levels. The value of a caretaker that you trust completely and know is giving amazing care to your children is immeasurable. Plus, when you see someone like Lori every day, 1-2 times per day for 3 years, you can’t help but become friends with her. So I’m also losing a close friend.
As for my daughter, she has been at her preschool for just over a year. I was on the waiting list for this school for almost 3 years, as it is one of the best preschools in town. It is an amazing school. Every teacher and the director are personally involved and very loving. Little Miss has learned so much, and truly thrived in their care. It’s hard to take her from such an environment, but our public elementary school is supposed to be the top in the state, and I know she is ready to move to the next level.
The upside of these transitions? My kids were across town from eachother, making dropping off or picking them both up an affair that required 45 minutes of driving. I have been driving WAY too much the past few years. But I gladly took on that burden to have my children in the best care I could find.
Little Man is moving to an in-home daycare that happens to be next door. NEXT DOOR, people. The woman has been doing an in-home daycare for over 15 years. I don’t know if she’ll be able to fill the shoes of Lori, but I’m confident it will be a good environment for Little Man, with several other 2 year olds to keep him company.
Little Miss will be taking the bus. The bus stop is at my house! I have arranged for another neighbor to do after-care for her, so starting in a few weeks, I will just drive home and walk from neighbor to neighbor to get my kids. HOW COOL IS THAT?! I’ll be getting back over an hour a day — woot!
Anyway, I know today will be hard, and I’m sure I’ll get a bit misty eyed. But I’m sure my kids are going to good environments, and they seem to adjust to changes well. On to the next adventure…