While I was pregnant with Alice, I toured a new daycare center. This was after nearly 3 years of childcare provided by a decent center right around the corner from our home. You can't beat that kind of convenience with a stick. So, looking farther away was harder, and mentally a bit of a block for me, but having two kids, affordability was the biggest factor in making a change. I also knew that every 3 months, Helen got a new teacher. With that kind of turnover, it was hard to get any rapport built up, and I was beginning to worry about her reaching a crucial point in her development and learning with a revolving door of instructors. She's a sharp kid but I didn't want her to suffer with all the short-timers.
The teacher I met on the tour of the new place was very reassuring. She had previously worked at the center where Helen was, and she knew what I was worried about with their staffing issues. She assured me that turnover was very low. She herself had been at the center for 4 years. Helen's class was taught by the owner. Alice would have teachers who had each been working there for a minimum of 2 years. That was excellent news to me.
October 1 will mark 2 years of attending this daycare. Helen now has some very near and dear friends in her class, and she loves each one of her teachers. Alice turns into a bright ray of sunshine in her classroom. You can tell she truly enjoys herself. I love how the teachers hug her. Jane is smiling every time I leave her in the morning and is being cuddled whenever I show up. I have landed in a great daycare and I wouldn't leave them anywhere else for the world.
Except, sometimes, it's time to go.
I was not prepared for this scene. I knew that it was coming for a couple of weeks, and I had been working hard to get the house clean for a visit from her PeePaw, and get a potluck dish made and delivered, and managed the logistics of getting a family to arrive on time and neatly dressed - so essentially, I'd been focusing very closely on the trees and suddenly the forest appeared on stage. Seeing her walk out in that outfit, it was a very startling moment for me. She keeps telling me she's 5 now, but dang if she didn't just grow up right there in that cap & gown. Plus, she was so cute up there with her friends.