When my husband and I were faced with the decision to put our kids in day care, my biggest reservation was that I didn’t want someone else raising my kids.
I wanted to teach them their ABCs. I wanted to teach them how to count to 50. I wanted to teach them how to read and write and how to play nice with other kids.
I, however, am not a teacher and these things are better left to the professionals. I knew that by going to day care, my kids would be more exposed to germs and would be sick more than were when they stayed at home with me.
I wanted my kids to be around me all the time, not a stranger.
But when a job came calling that required me to put our kids in day care, I had to suck it up and pull the trigger. It wasn’t like I was the first person to put my kids in day care. Plenty of kids survived day care before my kids and deep down, I knew they would benefit.
Off and on for the past seven years, our day care has become like a second family for us. The teachers are great and have been instrumental in raising our kids. They’ve taught them to play nice, but I still got to teach them to read.
With our youngest daughter starting kindergarten next week, we are closing the day care chapter of our lives. We have to say goodbye to this adopted family for good. We won’t have any more kids to send there. We won’t likely have time to stop in and say hello.
Leaving this place will be very hard. But we’ve made a lot of memories at our day care – more than I imagined we would.
When we started going there, I never imagined developing friendships with the teachers and the center director (I am Facebook friends with at least one teacher and the center director).
Besides the many pieces of artwork that hang on the walls in our house, my kids have brought home hand, foot-and-mouth disease, a marble stuck deep in one nostril and a broken arm. All required extensive trips to a doctor or the emergency department.
These are typical day care memories that will last a lifetime. They’ve made us cry, they’ve made us chuckle and roll our eyes.
More than those memories are the healthy lunches, the friends my kids have made and the intense discussions we’ve had with preschool teachers about whether or not our kids were ready for kindergarten.
Day care was good times. My family is all grown up now and it’s time to move on, but the friendships and the memories will last forever.
Angela Borchert is a freelance writer who lives in Vacaville. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.