I thought we’d have more time. More time for cursive, for letter sounds, for addition. More recesses, art creations, STEM projects. More Friday assemblies, center time and book writing. I thought I’d be able to give you a big, tearful hug come May to, again, thank you for the incredible impact you’ve had on my kids this year. To tell you that you’ve influenced not only who my kids are now but who they will become.
There will be no kindergarten graduation. No spring field trips. No Mother’s Day Tea, Dad’s Day or Pastries for Parents. No end of the year parties. No chance to show you a fraction of my appreciation with a gift card to your favorite local restaurant and an appeal for you to enjoy some rest and time with your own family after a job very well done this school year.
My kids are heartbroken to be without you for the rest of the year. But I think my heart is broken even more because I’ve seen all the ways, big and small, noticed and unnoticed, that you’ve loved them. You bought them pizza to celebrate your class’s great behavior. You indulged a silly daily hug time instigated by a certain rambunctious boy. You created Foodie Fridays to broaden their horizons and willingness to try new things. You offered hugs, you came to birthday parties, you emailed me on the weekends to make sure my sick little one was feeling better. You helped them process big feelings. You helped me process big feelings. You made school fun. You made learning fun. You stayed late. You got there early. You sacrificed your own time and money to love them so well.
I’m a poor substitute for a teacher compared to you, but I’m going to move forward with confidence because you taught me how. Yes, we’ll be reading, working on those math concepts you said they were ready for, keeping up with letter recognition and making sure to include science because you said they loved experimenting. But mostly I’m going to love them in the midst of learning the way you did.
As their mom, I know how incredible my children are. But sometimes I forget when they are bickering, complaining about the dinner I made, refusing to find their shoes. How fortuitous that we just had their parent-teacher conferences so you could remind me what magical, adventurous, curious wonders these children of mine are. You reminded me how much they love to learn, what subjects pique their interest most, how they relish asking questions and discovering answers. You reminded me they are treasures. You reminded me I’m a good and capable mom.
While we’ll be missing you fiercely, you’ll never be far from our thoughts. Your job with my babies may be done for the year, but your impact, on them and on me, will last a lifetime. Thank you.