An Open Letter To My Child’s Caregiver

Our child is a fun-loving, free-spirited, knows-what-she-wants, 2-year-old.  She loves and is loved beyond measure.  She is wise beyond years.  I often comment that she is an old soul {but believe me when I say that she is living the toddler-life}.  I like to say that “music speaks to her soul” because whenever she hears anything with a beat, her little butt starts shaking and her fist starts pumping.  And she is nothing short of amazing.  She is the love of our lives.

Can you see the LOVE in these eyes?!

One of the hardest things we have to do as a new parent is finding child care.  Our search began about 5 months before she was born – you can never be too prepared, right?  We Googled and researched and found a ton of information at Great Start to Quality on childcare.  I spent what seemed like endless hours on the phone asking questions, visiting in-home licensed daycares, as well as licensed daycare centers.  I listened to recommendations and read reviews.  This was not something we were taking lightly.  This person, or people, were going to be a huge part of our child’s life.  I needed to be sure we were making the right decision for us and for our child. 

After being home and with our daughter for 12 weeks, the time had come for me to return to work.  All of our research and questions led us to a friend to care for our daughter.  My husband and I talked extensively with her about our wants for our child, our expectations, if you will.  All was well.  And then something happened when I dropped her off that Friday morning, and I knew I had to find new childcare.

Our frantic search began.  In talking with one of my longest and best friends, she suggested a family friend of theirs.  After the two of them talked, we made arrangements for our families to meet.  It had been years, but I had previously met her and her husband and knew I would be comfortable with having her care for our child. But I wanted my husband and daughter to meet them to know that we were all on the same page.  I remember that afternoon to this day.  We pulled into the driveway of their home and went into their yard for introductions and to talk about expectations, start dates, etc.  Our daughter was whisked away by Nonny’s daughter who was home from College for the Summer.  It was love at first sight for all of us {at least I think/hope!} and I knew it was the perfect fit.

JoLynn has looked up to Beau since she first met him. He is her buddy!

Now seems as good of time as any to say THANK YOU once again. 

Dear Nonny,

You have managed to get our daughter on a schedule, and boy do we all feel it when she is “off”. Ha!  She is learning and reading and you help her get creative and dirty. You wipe her nose when she has a sniffle and dry her eyes when she has a tear.  You and I both were close to admitting defeat when she started showing signs of potty training but her strong-willed personality showed and said otherwise.  Guess what?  We persevered!  And with mini marshmallows!  Who would have thought?!

Her love of reading started before she was even born and I love that it is encouraged even when she is not with her mommy & daddy.

It is no secret that my mom is not earth-side any longer.  I struggle with that daily, but especially while raising a child.  I have so many questions that I need to ask my mom and I cannot.  Thank you for being that “stand-in” and answering my text messages at night and on your days off/weekends.  Thank you for praising our daughter when she asks to send you a video so she can “tell Nonny I pee’d in the toilet!”  You have become like my own personal advisor.  You are my sounding block.  Thank you for letting me vent about whatever – be it work, life or anything in between –  and listening/responding accordingly.

Crafts and gifts aplenty come home with JoLynn all of the time and it absolutely warms my heart!

We are nearing our 2 year anniversary with you.  Our child has grown SO much in that time.  She looks forward to going to Nonny’s, not only to see Nonny but to play and learn with her friends.  I truly believe and hope in my heart of hearts that the other children she sees on a daily and weekly basis will become life-long friends for her. You and your family have become our family, and will forever be a part of our child’s life.  All of our lives, because of the way you have all embraced her and us.

So Nonny, thank you for loving our daughter.  Thank you for having a positive influence over her.  She is who she is today because of the love you have shown her.  And for that, we can never thank you enough.

I’d like to think that my husband and I are doing a kick-butt job in raising our daughter.  I mean, I know we are.  But we aren’t doing it by ourselves.

I am full of gratitude.