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A Letter to My Son on His Last Day of Day Care

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JESSICA N TURNER
Jessica N. Turner
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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 6 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 and music class, 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.

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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 learn many new things and make good friends.

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You had the benefits of structure and routine, and that has served you well as you've grown. That said, structure did not inhibit you from exploring your world and discovering all that it holds. 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.

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You've also had the benefit of gifted teachers who taught you new things every day through creative lesson plans. Zoo week, pirate week, winter week, farm week... and the list goes on and on. You have learned so much thanks to those passionate teachers and good schools. School has never been somewhere you didn't want to go, which has been such a blessing. May you continue to experience joy through creativity and learning all the days of your life.

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You 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.

A version of this letter previously appeared on The Mom Creative.

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