Dear moms and dads,
I love your child. I have loved them from the first day you laid them in my arms and I will keep loving them for the rest of my life. They will forget me and in time I will be but a faded memory for you.
I am a childcare worker. I am a small part of your lives for a very short amount of time. I consider it to be both a privelege and an honor.
I may forget your names, moms and dads, if I am a worker in a large daycare center, just as you may forget mine. I may refer to you as Johnny’s mom or Maria’s dad. I’m sorry for that. My head is often full of little things I need to tell you but also the things I won’t tell you.
I won’t tell you when your baby rolls over for the first time. I know it would break your heart. I won’t tell you when your baby takes their first step. I know it would break your heart.
I won’t tell you these things because I don’t want you to feel like you are missing out on your child and I know you would feel that way. You aren’t missing out. Just because I saw a first doesn’t mean you missed it. There will be many firsts and if it’s the first time you saw it it’s still a first.
I want you to know, moms and dads, that oftentimes I cry when your children outgrow me and it is time for them to leave. Sometimes I cry a lot. Each child builds a tiny room in my heart and saying goodbye to them is painful. Nobody can ever fill the particular tiny room your child built in my heart for that room is where I keep their memory.
I have watched so many of you over the years, moms and dads, that I can spot a first time parent instantly. I can spot a first time parent whose child or children were conceived after IVF or miscarriage or who were adopted even faster.
You love them just a little harder. You worry just a little more. Your anxiety is just a little deeper. All parents love, worry, and are anxious. It’s different with some of you, though. I’ve become attuned to it. Sensitive to it. I know which parents need my reassurance and my words of encouragement. I know which of you needs a hug and a tissue and I will gladly supply it all.
I know it’s scary to leave them with me. I know you worry about them. You worry that they may lie crying in a crib or in a dirty diaper or that they will be scared or hungry or cold. You worry that I will not care for them as you do.
You worry, if I am a daycare center worker, that they will be lost in the shuffle and that with so many children your precious baby may be overlooked.
I promise to you that I will never let any of that happen. I will care for them just as if they were my own.
You worry that you are a bad parent. You worry about the relief you sometimes have after leaving your children with me. You will worry about that feeling of relief a lot.
After you come to trust me it will become your biggest worry second only to worrying that your child likes me more than they like you. Please believe me; they don’t. You always were and always will be their number one. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I love your children. I want you to know that. Even as the years go by I will remember them and love them. I carry the memory of each in the now hundreds of tiny rooms that occupy my heart.
Thank you for entrusting them to me and thank you for allowing me to spend the time with them that I did.
Someone Who Loves Your Child