A Letter to My Son: Lessons from Day Care

by jessicaturner on July 30, 2014

Dear Elias,

Today is your last day of day care. I can’t believe it.

I remember your first day, almost exactly six years ago. You were six weeks old and I bawled when I dropped you off. You did great that day and every day, and we figured out a new normal. In that first year, I nursed you every day on my lunch break, got to know your caregivers, the other babies in your class and they all became an extension of your family. It was a very sweet year and I cried when you left that first room.

By the time you transitioned to the toddler room, we were both pros. From washing your hands at the sink to circle time, you flourished.

You see, while some would say that it would have been better for you to stay home, I am so thankful that day care has been a huge part of your story.

Because of day care and the excellent care you’ve received, you have learned and experienced so much more than you would have in the confines of our home. Yes, you maybe got a few more colds, but you also had the opportunity to make a lot of friends and learn so many things. Day care has also brought valuable friendships to our family’s life.

daycare3You had the benefits of structure and routine, and that has served you well as you discovered the world. That said, structure did not inhibit you to explore your world and discover new things. This mix of structure and discovery is a great lesson for life. While having structure to your days is important and useful, never let it inhibit your discovery of the beautiful world God has made.

You’ve also had the creativity of learning something new every day. Zoo week, pirate week, winter week, farm week – you have done it all, thanks to passionate teachers and good schools. These themes have brought you so much joy, but also taught a great deal. May you continue to experience joy through creativity and learning all the days of your life.

daycareFriendsYou have learned how to be a compassionate, kind friend. It is clear you are well-loved by your friends. When you walk in the room, they yell, “Elias! Elias!” and you get a big grin on your face. This year at your graduation, your teacher said that you will likely grow up to be a humanitarian because you love people so well. Whatever profession you choose, may you always love and respect others. No other attitude will get you further.

Elias, you brighten every room you are in. Day in and day out I have seen that at day care. And while today will be your last day at day care, it is just the beginning of another adventure for you. Next week, you will walk into kindergarten and brighten a whole new room and building.

Shine brightly son. Shine brightly.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah July 30, 2014 at 8:43 am

We have one more year before our oldest leaves her current caregiver to start kindergarten. I already have sad moments about this! So grateful to have other working moms like you that share your experiences and give me courage!


jessicaturner July 30, 2014 at 2:21 pm

Thank you for your kind words. It is an honor to encourage in some small way.


Aimee July 30, 2014 at 8:43 am

My favorite part of this: You see, while some would say that it would have been better for you to stay home, I am so thankful that day care has been a huge part of your story.” I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling mama, and I have no doubt that I am exactly where I am called to be. In a generation filled with stupid, petty “mommy wars,” I am so encouraged by moms whose lives look very different from mine, but are living out God’s best for their families. Rock on, sister! Elias is clearly a joy-filled, well-parented kiddo.


jessicaturner July 30, 2014 at 2:21 pm

Thank you for your very kind words. I agree sister. We are all in this together.


Stephanie Click July 30, 2014 at 9:43 am

Both of my kids lived in daycare from the time they were 6 weeks until they entered kindergarden. They thrived and we, too, made lifelong friends. Elias will excel in kindergarden, because he is so well prepared from his daycare experience! I remember on my daughter’s first day of kinder blogging that I wanted to be sad, but she was so excited – I just couldn’t bring myself to tears. Can’t wait to read all about Elias’ first day next week!


Andrea L. July 30, 2014 at 2:00 pm

This made me bawl… I can’t believe this also means I’ve been following your blog for around 6 years! So proud of your little man. :)


jessicaturner July 30, 2014 at 2:20 pm

I cried writing it! :) Thanks for being such a long-time reader.


Kristin Smith July 30, 2014 at 4:43 pm

This is wonderful. I have been reading since before Elias was born….I remember Matt and Angie’s videos! :) I too have always been a FT working mom. I always felt guilty initially leaving the kids at daycare but they do thrive, and so did I. I am one of those moms that do well working outside of the home. I don’t think I would do SAH / Homeschool mom…I just wouldn’t. My kids are better for it. Some may say that makes me a bad mom….but I think I am a better mom when I AM with them. My son just turned 5 and we decided to wait another year to start kindergarten. So next year at this time I will be facing the same challenge! Good luck mama! :)


Jenny wells July 30, 2014 at 10:50 pm

I remember your posts on the transitioning from each room and when you first had to take him! Can’t believe he’s in school already! I have one about to start kindergarten too. Thanks for sharing your family with us!!


Sarah Mae July 31, 2014 at 7:56 am

Jessica, this is really beautiful. You are such a wonderful mother.


Debbie August 2, 2014 at 10:23 pm

Sweet Elias it has been a joy to watch you learn…but please stop growing! lol
Love, Nana


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