Friday, November 30, 2012

Changes at the 100 Acres....

Hey everyone!  It's Kanga here.  I've often thought about posting insights or ideas under "Kanga's Korner" for the past three years but for one reason or another, never got around to it.  I think it has to do with the fact that my partner in poopy crime is a fabulous blogger.  She's so insightful and hysterically funny...I knew I would not do better.  It's one of her many strengths.  She is awesome; I love her like my sister. 

To say the last three years have flown by is an understatement.  My first day here was a whirlwind.  I was married with a seven month old daughter, I learned so much just that first day.  And the lessons never ceased.  This place became my home away from home.  I made a lifelong friend with K.  As most of you know, we went to high school together but we really didn't hang out together other than being at choir events together.  Through FaceBook, gotta love that, we reconnected and she offered me a job as my employment search yielded no leads.  To say that this job became more than I ever imagined is another understatement.  This was where I found out I was pregnant with Tigger, where I came after Roo was diagnosed with spastic diplegia (a form of cerebral palsy), where I watched her almost miraculous progress with the ladies of ECI, where I felt safe while going through a divorce and where I have rediscovered who I am.  Not to mention, I learned to be a better parent, remembered how precious childhood is and discovered how strong the bonds of parenthood are.  Nothing like finding the humor in poopy diapers, lack of sleep, mounds of laundry, feeding picky eaters or getting through "terrible twos" tantrums to validate the amazing craziness of parenthood.  What started as working as an assistant at an at-home daycare became an indescribable journey that I treasure and hold so dear.  I've had such an amazing time with all the families that have shown us extraordinary trust with their little ones.

Speaking of families, I have had the immense pleasure of meeting some incredible families who have honored me by placing the care of their children with us.  I thought I knew what that meant but realized more so how precious that is when I began the progress of finding daycare for Roo and Tigger.  I cannot thank you enough for the trust you have placed in me as I now truly understand what that entails.  All you want is to find someone to love your kids as much as you do and the bonus of that person to help teach them the little lessons they will no doubt need as they face life's situations as young, productive citizens of this world.  I hope you know how much I have enjoyed spending time with your little ones and watching them grow.  It was truly a privilege and I'd like to think that I've contributed in some small way to their childhood.  It's been fascinating to see the progress of those who have moved on and I will be checking in with K on those still here.  They are in amazing hands. 

I think of K as Mother Earth.  She was meant to be a mother, is incredible with the kids and just has the perfect mixture of loving counselor and supportive teacher.  I've learned so much from her about being a mom, I call her my guru.  It should come as no surprise that I have patterned a lot of my parenting style from her, it still makes me smile how much I sound like her when talking to the kids and every now and then, I hear my branded sayings spoken in her voice. I could go on and on about her but that will only embarrass her.  She is such a life force, I will never be able to tell her how much she means to me and how much I have leaned on her.  No matter the situation, she has been the shoulder I needed to cry, vent or laugh on.  I will miss our daily rants about anything and everything.  I will miss her immensely.  I will also miss her kids.  I love Duchess and O'Malley like they are my own.  They are such exceptional forces of nature.  Duchess has her mother's love and touch with the little ones and O'Malley has great wonder and affection for babies.  I hope Roo and Tigger turn out like them, even if just a bit as then I will know that I have done a good job.  

As I leave, I have two strong emotions.  I am sad.  I don't want to go.  I will miss seeing these bright, funny, lovable balls of energy.  I love being able to sing and dance while laughing at the hilarious and often brutal honesty of the children I have come to love and enjoy spending time with.  I will miss the hugs and kisses I get from everyone.  Hugs will always make everything better and unconditional love is such an extraordinary gift from children.  I will absolutely miss being with my Tigger everyday.  I have been able to spend the first (almost) three years of his life with him everyday.  It has been time well spent.  Roo has moved on, there are days she doesn't ask about me until she sees me after I get home but I will miss getting her ready for the bus every morning. 

But being who I am, I am also hopeful.  I am excited, nervous, anxious and yes, hopeful about my next career move.  I hope to be able to make a difference.  I know that I have changed from my time being here.  I am a result of all the lessons I have learned along the way and the friendships I have been blessed with. 

Thank you Giant Steps families, from the bottom of my heart.  I will never be able to fully express the impact you have had on me and my children.  I'd like to think that I am a better mother, daughter, friend and person in general because of the phenomenal three and a half years here. 

Much love, joy and gratitude,


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