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Daycare Workers, Thank You For Raising My Son

What you have done for my children is beyond anything I can ever give back to you, and for that I am forever grateful.

08/22/2017 15:02 EDT | Updated 08/22/2017 15:03 EDT
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As a working mom, it's hard to decide what to do with your babies as no daycare is ever perfect.

"But they serve Bear Paws."

"But the classes are small."

But the classes are big."

"But it's in a home."

"But it's in a school."

"But they speak only one language."

"But they speak too many languages."

For my two children, I chose a daycare that is run like a school. Different classes per age level, so every year as my child got older, they switch teachers and classes. There were 20 or 22 kids per class, no organic food, the walls a little rugged, but inside those walls were caregivers.

Day in day and day out, they spent hours with my child, ensuring he was warm enough, food cold enough, his friends were close enough and far enough, loved enough and disciplined enough while watching ensuring every child received the same respect.

kali9 via Getty Images

Day in and day out, I went into that daycare seeing these employees snuggling and nurturing children as though it was their very own first born. Day in and day out, they plugged through their day only to go home to their own small children. I often wondered and even asked, "How?"

"I love what I do," was their response.

As I would drop off my son, they would compliment my work outfits as they wore rugged clothes or plastic gloves to wipe a child or feed the kids, or prepare some paint activities. Perhaps they were going to be baking or making slime with an entire class of toddlers! My outfit was nothing compared to what beauty they were instilling in those children.

When I would call to say my son wasn't going to class that day or he would be late, you would think these teachers would be happy there was one less kid, but they were actually disappointed. We would receive a text, "When will he be back?" There was no sense of relief, their mind was always thinking about all the children, there or not.

You work 40 hours a week, sometimes more. It is because of you I receive some mental solace.

In the winter months, when I could barely drive my child to school, I watched you arrive on time and bear the cold. You would be bundled up, clearing ice, wiping noses and providing the children with activities. You would even complain if it was too icy to go outside because "kids need to be outside" — so you actually brought snow inside!

In summer months you would comment on my strong physique, reminiscing on the days you were able to make it to the gym not even thinking that I could go because you are teaching, caring and taking care of my child. If I had my child with me, I would never get in a single squat, let alone go on a regular basis. You work 40 hours a week, sometimes more. It is because of you I receive some mental solace.

Daycare wasn't just a drop off centre, you were my sense of relief that when I walked away, my son was happy. Even if he said he didn't want to go that day, which rarely happened, by the time he was picked up, he forgot. Even if he ran to the door to try to catch me, you would distract him, play "catch me" or "let's see mommy by the window."

"Don't worry, he'll be fine," you would whisper. "Bye bye mommy."

Hongqi Zhang
You are the people who, when he got hurt, provided the love and support he needed to ensure he would have the confidence to get right back up.

Thank you. Thank you for calling when my child got hurt, for talking to me when he was misbehaving, for reassuring me it's OK if he doesn't know his numbers or colours, because he's on track anyway. Thank you for listening to my stories, for understanding when I looked distraught, for laughing with my son and thank you for all your hugs... to both of us!

You are the people who, when he got hurt, provided the love and support he needed to ensure he would have the confidence to get right back up. Who encouraged his climbing and throwing habits by redirecting him to the right time and place. Who helped him learn his numbers, his colours; write his letters; read and recognize words; and instilled him with the confidence he needed to remember our phone number and our address. You did that.

You provided just the right amount of discipline and love to teach him the right from wrong.

You have helped me raise him to be a better man, to be a gentleman.

What you have done for my children is beyond anything I can ever give back to you, and for that I am forever grateful.

There was no true vacation for you, as even your Facebook posts are about your love of children, caring for children... your life revolves around your job.

Daycare closes only four days a year, and after this Friday, it will be my sons' last day. When I look back at these years we have spent together, although I am saddened that I will never drop off my child again, I am beyond heartened at the thought that you raised him. While you would tell me the that "the hardest job is being a parent," it truly isn't. It's a hard job, no doubt. But the hardest job is what you do.

You love those children as though they are your very own, and then every year you say good-bye to your prodigies. As I ponder how I can ever repay you, or what gift can possibly ever compare to the love and care you put into my children, all I can think is there is nothing.

What you have done for my children is beyond anything I can ever give back to you, and for that I am forever grateful.

May your worst days of work, remind you of this... that at the end of it all you were incredible.

You truly do instill the minds of tomorrow.

Thank you!

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