They say you can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family. I don’t know who “they” are, but if I ever find out, I will respectfully disagree. The teachers and staff at New Horizon are more than just teachers; they are an extension of our family. No, they don’t live with us, have dinner with us, or help me with the enormous amount of laundry, but they do love my son, and they are a huge part of the reason he is the amazing little man he is today.
My son is my first child, so I was definitely that mom that was not open minded about someone else taking care of my son. I thought, “What parent leaves their kid with a group of strangers? I mean, really nice, smiley, and happy strangers, but still strangers. I am supposed to just walk into a strange place on a Monday morning, hand my kid over, and walk away? What? No!” In addition to being exhausted and having the traditional “mom brain,” I was also now presented with making my first really hard decision with my new little man. It was tough for me. I had so much guilt, and it was hard to let go. I walked in, tears already in my eyes, not able to make eye contact with anyone, and they were so awesome. So incredible. They said, “It is okay to cry. That is what moms do.” I felt ridiculous. They didn’t. They hugged me and told me they would check in all day. I am pretty sure I didn’t do any work that day. I checked Daily Connect approximately every 2.5 seconds. But they did. They checked in all day. I got, “Mom, I am having fun!”, “Mom, I am enjoying some time with my new friend”. It helped me so much. It brought a sense of calm to see he was loving his new school! And, for what it’s worth, it was also nice to know when he pooped. Who knows why I needed to know that, but again, I was a new mom.
Today, I know I have a family at NHA. They engage in our lives, tell me the great stories of the day, and love Brodie so much. But you know what else, they like me. They say hello, laugh at my dumb jokes, and genuinely are my friends. My relationship with this team is so important to me. Knowing all of them on a professional and personal level allows me to find comfort leaving my son with them. They are real, they are genuine, and they are my friends.
Every day I get to live through the eyes of my son and watch him explore and grow–and yes, it is all way too fast. But, I couldn’t do it without the amazing family we have at NHA. Thank you for treating Brodie as your own. Thank you for dealing with my crazy and always telling me it is going to be okay. But most of all, thank you for being our family. Thank you for taking the time to get to know us, welcome us into your world, and loving Brodie so much. I couldn’t do this without you all, and as I have said to all of you, you are a blessing. I couldn’t do your job and definitely couldn’t be the mom I am without you.