To My Child’s Teacher:
I remember always looking forward to summertime when I was a kid. The excitement of sleeping in every day. The fun of swimming in the pool and at the beach. The thrill of playing outside with my siblings all day long. No more homework, no more boring lessons, no more tests, no more structure.
I remember being so ready to run out of my teacher’s classroom when the bell rang. Yet, I also remember grieving her once I got home — realizing she was no longer “my teacher” anymore. In a few months, I’d have another lady spending every weekday of the school year with me. All that time I had with my recent teacher was over, and that was that.
While I had a deep respect for teachers, the ones who trained and molded me into the woman I am today, I never expected this. I never expected to have such a love, passion, and gratefulness for a teacher, until it was my daughter’s turn to have one.
On her first day, you embraced her nervous heart with the most unconditional love.
You complimented her outfit, showed her to her name-branded desk, and introduced her to her new classmates. You made her so comfortable that even if she wanted to cry, you cleverly and cheerfully diverted her attention to something exciting instead.
While I spent the day running errands, you were teaching her to write her ABCs.
While I was finishing important work projects, you instilled in her the importance of being kind to her peers.
While I was doing housework, you empowered her to embrace her individuality in art and music class.
While I was going to the gym, you encouraged her to strive for excellence in every assignment and activity.
While I was taking a cat nap, you were wiping her tears and placing that Elsa band-aid on her knee.
While I was driving to pick her up, you were hugging her, telling her how special she was to you and everyone around her.
You were doing things I couldn’t see.
Things I didn’t fully appreciate until summer came around.
You were able to keep her so entertained, so occupied, so challenged, and so contented throughout the school year. And now, it’s up to me. It’s up to me to find things for her to do. It’s up to me to come up with creative ways to channel her amazing energy for hours on end. It’s up to me to teach her, nurture her, mold her, and lead her – all, day, long.
I no longer have you as my companion to watch her as I ran errands, as I worked, as I cleaned the house, as I went to the gym, as I took a nap, as I drove around town kidless.
How heavily I realize now what help to me you were.
Not only that, you helped me have some me-time, but you were also helping me raise her.
You taught her when I couldn’t.
You inspired her when I couldn’t.
You corrected her when I couldn’t.
You motivated her when I couldn’t.
You entertained her when I couldn’t.
You led her when I couldn’t.
You loved her when I couldn’t.
Oh, my child’s teacher – how grateful I am for you.
I didn’t tell you enough how deeply I appreciated you during the school year. But I’m here to tell you now – now that the dust has settled, now that you are finally having the me-time you so deserve:
Thank you. As I hold the torch alone this summer, I realize how light the burden was when you held it with me. You had a hand in shaping a precious little girl who will be a world-changing woman someday. And for that, both she and I will be forever grateful.