Almost nine and a half years ago we walked Radley into his first day of school. We dressed him up in his little St. Joseph's Eagles Nest tshirt, loaded up the car, and walked him into school. He was four months old and when we walked out of that school, I cried. And cried. Ryan and I went to McDonald's for breakfast and as I picked at my Egg McMuffin I looked up at Ryan for the first of many times and with tears in my eyes said, "What am I doing?!"
Meaning, why were we leaving our sweet baby in the care of someone else? Why wasn't I going to stay home with him? And I have since answered those questions many times - with the basic answer being this is what works for us.
Fast forward 15 months - we changed daycare and found ourselves dropping him off again for his first day of school on June 2, 2008. We would go on to drop the girls off for their first day of school at the Weekday School again in 2010 and 2012.
This school is special for 1857 reasons, but my favorite reason is simply because of the people we share it with. Josh and Cindy enrolled Caroline here and when things started to be less than stellar at our first child care center, we decided to switch. The Baileys switched, the Kurtens enrolled here and so many more people that have come into our lives because of these walls.
And here we are, nine years later and we are saying goodbye. A bittersweet goodbye. A Boyz to Men hard to say goodbye, goodbye. So much of their childhood is wrapped up in these walls. Almost all of it. There have been many weeks when these women have seen these faces more than we have. We have all cried all the tears (really, sweet Landry LOST it during prayer time the night before her last day) (She gets that from me) (#emotional)
They have done so much more than taught them how to read and write... they taught them how to care, how to be compassionate, how to share, how to love. And they loved them right back.
They know their favorite games, their least favorite foods and what makes them smile.
They changed as many diapers as we did AND are basically the reason all six of them potty trained so early.
These women gave us the gift of peace of mind. Knowing that while we were at work, these precious kiddos were being loved and cared for.
They shared silly stories with us, they documented milestones, they celebrated their success and helped them try again after failures. They listened and loved and gave us such incomparable support.
Pam was actually the reason we chose our first school - we just adored her when we were searching. She switched roles during our time there and then ended up moving to WDS after we did and became Landry's teacher, too. Isn't God grand?
I am going to miss these faces and these hearts and the stories that we shared. I can only hope that we did a good enough job letting them know how grateful we are to them.
We may have carried all three in, but they walked out of those doors with confidence and compassion and the capability of conquering all of their dreams.
Goodbyes are hard but this one is made easier knowing that we will come back and visit... the WDS isn't rid of us yet!