How do you say thank you when “thank you” is not enough? I don’t really know the rules of thanking someone who has far exceeded your expectations. My six-year-old completed kindergarten yesterday. Last summer I was confused, worried and overwhelmed with sending him to school. Brody and I had been inseparable from the day he was born. He is a very sensitive, nervous child and was completely terrified of the idea of school. It was a stressful situation to have to convince my child and myself that he would be a full-time student. I worried he would cry all day, I worried I would be “that mom” whoever “that mom” is, I didn’t want to be her. As fate would have it a friend of mine was now teaching at the school and I just knew Mrs. Berry was supposed to be his teacher. Brody needed someone who was cautious of his needs and while I worried for whoever his teacher would be, I was grateful to know it was someone I already trusted. We got the call that in fact Mrs. Berry was Brody’s kindergarten teacher and reality set in.
The first day of school was perfect, no tears from my boy and I was excited for what the future held. The next day didn’t flow so easy, Brody had a stressful afternoon and cried because he missed me. History repeated itself from August until November, Brody cried almost everyday. Some days he missed me, some days he messed up his work and that brought on the tears. He became very attached to Mrs. Berry very quickly, he cried the days she wasn’t there. He didn’t trust teachers who stepped in while she was away and he hated the days he had a substitute. As a parent I wanted to see him become more independent and struggled with how to handle those situations. I never wanted to send him off and let others deal with his tears. As his mom I felt it was my responsibility. I prayed all the time that Brody would grow out of those moments of weakness. I prayed for Mrs. Berry because I worried that he was overwhelming her or disrupting the time she had to teach the class. He enjoyed school, woke up everyday excited to go, but the meltdowns are exhausting even for me.
Every morning we would pull up to the school and I would ask if he wanted to be dropped off like the rest of his friends. The answer was always, not yet. Brody would grip my hand all the way to the door of his classroom and only when he saw Mrs. Berry would he let go. Most parents only walked their kindergartner in a handful of times and then used the drop off line. It took Brody until February to let me drop him off.
I watched Mrs. Berry hug all of her students goodbye everyday, she would get down on their level and talk to them, she treated every single one like her own child.
Thank you Mrs. Berry for making my job easier. For loving my boy like your own. For seeing past his nervousness and wiping his tears. It’s funny to see the transition from being in school all day and then come home. He frequently calls me Mrs. Berry, tucks in his chair after sitting at the table to eat and walks everywhere with his hands to himself behind his back. I love that.
I love that he loves his teacher, he often writes I love Mrs. Berry on sheets of paper. It’s a reminder to me that we made the right decision sending him to school. He learned so much this school year and the time flew by. Thank you Mrs. Berry for your love, patience and understanding. There is no greater gift to me than knowing my child thrived and wholeheartedly enjoyed his days with you.
To my sons kindergarten teacher