As teachers you must know how difficult it is for parents to leave their kids with, essentially, strangers at the start of the school year. When M and I dropped August off for his very first day of school last fall and drove away, it was the very first time we had ever left our first-born child with anyone other than a blood relative in his entire life.
Growing up, I was bullied relentlessly (mostly by my peers, but sometimes by adults in positions of power) for a lot of reasons, many of which were things I could not, or should not have needed to change about myself. To say that it has affected who I am and the way that I parent would be an understatement. As a parent, I do my absolute best to shelter my babies from the cruelty and harshness of the world. I strive to uplift them, encourage them, and assist them in cultivating their own unique identities. Our home is a safe space, full of unabashed love, for them to be true to themselves, to never feel shame, and to express every emotion without judgment.
After we dropped him off last fall, I held it together until we drove out of the parking lot of CECC, and I cried. I cried hard. Suddenly, I found myself powerless to shield my child from anyone that didn’t have the best intentions. That was a tough moment… But this school year would prove to be nothing short of magical for all of us. That very first day when we came to pick August up, he was beaming – and I was simultaneously relieved, proud, and elated. August was over the moon with his experience, and thus began a beautiful first year of school.
I want you three to know that I cannot express how lucky I have felt this year to have you, three, on his team. The love that you have for who August is, at his core, is so apparent to me that it makes me want to dance. You have accepted him for his silliness, understood when he had big feelings, and always helped him through any hiccups he had. He never felt judged by any of you and knew that you three were yet another safe place for him to be exactly who he is.
Thank you. Thank you for teaching my child. Thank you for loving my child. Thank you for being there for all the children in your class. Teachers like you are so, incredibly important to the development of good humans that this planet needs. You are wonderful.
With immense gratitude,