The End of a Chapter

How lucky I am to have something that make saying goodbye so hard – Winnie the Pooh

The end of August was a true whirlwind of events in our house hold. One of the big ones that we had to face was transitioning Maddox’s daycare. When Maddox was born, we lived in our old house on the north side of town. Just as any excited parents, one of the things on our checklist was to look for a daycare to trust with our child as I was going back to work. We toured many different schools based on recommendations and found some online. We didn’t like any of them until we toured Kindercare. We liked the building layout, we liked the orientation, the curriculum packet we were handed(even for Infants), and genuine interaction between parents and teachers. We knew it was the place and signed him up for a spot for when he was 12 weeks. Then, as we know, he was diagnosed with CF. We had a conversation with the teachers to let them know of the diagnosis to make sure that he could still attend daycare there. They didn’t even hesitate, ‘Of course he is still welcome, show us what we need to do’.

Then the time came for Nick and I to trust someone else with our child. I did ok at the drop off until I got back in the car on my way back to work thinking, “I hope I know what I’m doing, I hope he’s ok, I hope they love him as much as we do” as I am wiping away the tears rolling down my cheeks. It was a quick day at work as I tried to get back into the swing of things, catch up on emails, and meet the new guys. When I went to pick him up from work and I had a 1st day of Daycare present waiting for me and we never looked back. Until now.

When we moved into our new house, Nick and I didn’t even consider thinking of moving ‘schools’ for him. The teachers knew everything about him and his CF. We would get a text if Maddox was feeling cruddy and would get the extra hugs and cuddles to help him get through the icky days. We knew if he didn’t eat much, was extra tired, or if he would cough more. It was our comfort level knowing that they were so in tune with him that if something was off we would get the message so we could call the CF team while they were still in the office. The trust was so deep , it scared me if we had to leave. But we had to change day cares.

In our new house, we are in a different school district than the center that he went to , which meant that he needed to start transitioning to a daycare closer to home when he would get closer to starting 4k. We stalled as long as we could as we all didn’t want to transition but it was something that had to be done. The transition date was written on the calendar. I had tears welling up in my eyes and it was still weeks away. It meant that we had to change up our routine, trust new people with our little man, and that he was growing up to start real school. It meant that we had to say good bye to friends as we have best intentions to stay in touch as best as we can. It meant that we had to put on the smile for Maddox, walk him through the next chapter and explain that he was saying good bye to his friends. We had to also explain that he was going to a new school to meet new teachers and keep him excited for it all, but inside it was tough.

It was a Wednesday night and we met with the new directors and teachers of Maddox’s new day care. Thankfully, we were able to transition him to a new Kindercare so everything transferred over. The classrooms were again clean and huge compared to ours that we knew inside and out. He loved the new toys and we tried to keep the smile, but it was tough, it didn’t feel like home yet.

Then the last Friday came and we had to say our good byes. Good byes to the teachers that were family, the kids that were his friends and the only routine that we knew for day care. We started to pack up the stuff in his cubby, took his picture down and grabbed the last of his belongings. I was hoping for a quick in and out as to avoid the tears, but it didn’t happen and I’m ok with it. The teachers that Maddox had since he was an infant put together a good bye package for him and of course, I am just a hot mess trying to keep it together. The presents that they gave him will be forever cherished; a home made picture book of pictures of Maddox and his closest friends and teachers and the t-shirt. The t shirt has his last name on the back and each of his classmates hand prints with their names on it, with his two closest classmates, Olivia and Colton right next to his name. (o yea, I couldn’t stop the tears rolling down my face – even as I am reliving it again now).

We all knew that Maddox just about ran the place. He knew everyone’s mom, dad, grandma, brothers and sisters and would say hi to just about everyone that walked through the door. When I would go pick him up, all his classmates would yell “Maddox, your mom’s here” and he would just light up. He would always help all the teachers with whatever they were working on.

The final hugs were given from Maddox and myself and we walked through the doors of Kindercare on Ballard for the last time. That Friday was a roller coaster of emotions and I know for sure that it was a lot harder on me than it was for Nick or Maddox. Maddox was excited to be able to ride the bus at his new Kindercare and started talking of 4k, but Kindercare Ballard will always have a special place in this mommy’s heart.

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