By Leah Heffner, contributing writer.
Every other week, in a fit and scramble of sippy cups, diaper bags, and the occasional (or not so occasional) tears, you see me. You see me in my frantic dash from one door to another. From one kid, one room, to another, as I try to get everyone where they need to be before I grab a hot cup of coffee.
You greet me with a smile and take my child, with smiles or tears, with shrieks of laughter or shrieks of wanting mommy. You give them a safe and happy place to learn and grow.
Most likely, you know me far better than I know you. Between the lines at the door at pick-up and drop-off, exchanging pleasantries and inquiring as to the behavior of the day, I learn so little about you over the course of the year. And for that, I am sorry.
But I know there is no detail of my life you’re missing out on as my children tell you the parts of their days and lives they feel are absolutely necessary for you to know. You make sense out of the scrambled words and story lines. You encourage and enthusiastically listen to the details.
Oh, dear childcare worker, you signed up to help rock babies and do crafts with the big kids and love on someone else’s kids for a couple of hours.
What you don’t know is how much you are loving on me also.
Each week, as I remind my child to say “thank you”, my throat catches as I want to express to you in my awkward and over-eager way how thankful I am for two hours where I can try to realign my posture, drink my coffee while it’s still hot, sit and have a conversation without being interrupted.
I’m not much with words face-to-face because I get all the feels, running over my arms like goose bumps, and when the words won’t come, the tears do. And you already see my hot mess every week, and I don’t want to lose it in front of you.
So thank you, dear childcare worker, for giving me a place where both my children and I get filled up again and again.
Thank you for taking the job seriously, loving on my kiddos while you quietly love on me, too.
Thank you for offering to take and keep and rock the baby with colic who’s had me up for the last month straight.
Thank you for wanting to spend time with my loud (x20) kids and with the other moms’ noisy children.
Thank you for seeing me at my worst, including but not limited to, peeling a kid off of me and returning a child to me in weird pants because I didn’t pack extra clothes for my potty training boy.
But mostly, thank you for being you. Thank you for saying yes to this. I genuinely pray that this isn’t just a simple “yes” for you but is an “Oh, HECK Yes!”.
And thank you for accidentally loving on me in the process.
You are changing lives, breathing life into moms and families.
And that’s no joke.
Do you attend a moms’ group or a Bible Study while your child(ren) goes to childcare? Is there a special way you say “Thank You”? Share it in the comments!