Leave It Better
September 1, 2017
Yesterday was your last day at your first daycare, Gwiggles. I know you don’t understand that you won’t be going back next week, which is, I guess, the wonder of being a toddler. Of for your mom and I, we’re still sentimental.
You started at Gwiggles a few months ago. We left you in the loving care of Tessa and Michael and, looking back now, we couldn’t have landed in a better place. Since the first time we met them, we could tell they were kind and caring, but it wasn’t until we saw you with them did we know just how much so.
Your short time at Gwiggles marked a great improvement in all your skills and language. I’m still reminded that just a month or so ago, you protested “No mas!” at the end of your dinner — we knew they spoke in Spanish, but not that you would pick it up or that fast. You also know agua, mamilla, gracias and lord knows what else, you repeat anything and everything these days.
We also learned how to start managing the drop-off / pick-up antics of parenting. Before, Meena always came to you and it’s easy to take that convenience for granted. But, Gwiggles was in a great place and Tessa and Michael made it incredible easy for us — maybe we haven’t quite learned anything yet.
Lastly, your time there has given me a brand new appreciation for all the amazing people that care for children with love. It’s one thing to bring a child into your heart, but an amazingly challenging and brave one to let them go.
To summarize, Gwiggles was great for all of us.
Our hopes when you went to daycare was that you would learn to socialize with other children, but you went far beyond that. While parents tend to make their kids friends simply by their relationships with other parents, for the first time you knew your friends at school and mentioned them on your own.
From Keira to Soleo to Theo to Hayes, we grew used to hearing about them all in one way or another. I don’t know if you’ll miss them or for how long, but we’ll do our best to keep you all together as best we can. Which leads to the quick lesson I wanted to share with you today.
I’m going to give you a bit of very hard advice to follow, but I hope you will do your best to follow it. So here we go:
No matter what, leave it better.
Regardless of the situation or circumstance you find yourself in, leave it better than you found it. This is hard on its own and even harder when you wished you weren’t there at all. But it’s your responsibility.
In the same way that you should never dial in your effort once you’ve committed to do something, you should do your best to leave something good behind. There are a lot of ways to leave it better, like:
- Assist with the work that needs to be done
- Inspire everyone to do their best
- Lighten the mood with humor and charm
- Enlighten with your insights and ideas
- Celebrate the success that you’ve achieved
It’s far too easy to run off in a huff, to act out in frustration, to be a negative instead of a positive. Trust me, I know, I’ve done it more times than I would like to admit. But I do know, for sure, two things. When I look back on my life, and all the situations I’ve been in, I’m happy for all the good memories I have but cannot forget the ones where I didn’t leave it well.
Leaving things bad leaves splinters in the mind. That’s not how you want to be remembered.
On your last day, we received a small note from Tessa and Michael. I’ll share it here with you (I hope they don’t mind)
You’re off to a good start already, son.