This post just wrote itself at a time when many who will read it will be saddened by it. That’s my disclaimer. It’s something that our family needed to say to really make it clear just how special our Sandbox family really is.
There have been many. Many that helped this momma leave her one and only behind everyday and not fall apart at the seams. Many that are stuck to the heart of my one and only as a most supremely special person. And are they ever. Any one person that can find themselves stuck to the heart of a child are among the most special people who walk this earth.
To Maddie’s heart sticks at least four, probably more. Miss Kris and Miss Paula whose babies I had the privilege to bring into my four walls and now had mine in theirs. Who reassured me that my baby would do as well as their babies did. And of course they were right. She did. The smiles she has for them remain some of her brightest smiles to date.
Then there is Miss Kathy, miracle worker, who in my worst moments seeing my child cry desperately, reaching beyond her reach to reach me, held her and loved her and made her feel safe. Even though all I wanted to do was bring her back home and make it all better. It was just a moment in time before she was at home in those arms instead of mine.
There are more. Every blue apron that I have had the privilege to leave my daughter with has been special to our family. These women have had the snippets of time that I have not. The caring that they have helped to cultivate; like when Maddie comes to take care of her friend that is scared. The friendships they have helped to build between Maddie and those besties of hers. The laughter I am sure they have had to hold back at the sheer silliness that could be my Maddie. They’ve witnessed my daughter grow and become the four-year old, almost kindergartener, that she is today. For that they are family. Every last one.
But there is one. One that Maddie velcro’d herself to even at ten weeks old. That’s my girl. Even at ten weeks old she recognized the spirit of this one. The spirit that took her in as her own, as she does with all of them. The one that helped coin my daughter as “Maddie-long-legs.” The one who had a smile for her no matter what shenanigans those longs legs might have gotten her into. The one that comes to my mind when I think of influential people in my daughter’s life. Steven Layne, an amazing educator and speaker, talks of people who would be in your balcony. People that would be your cheering section as you stood on whatever stage, playing the highlights of your life.
Miss Joyce would be in Maddie’s balcony, I have no doubt in my mind. Maddie would demand it, hands on her hips. Like when we think of teachers to thank and we must always thank Miss Joyce, even though she is long past being Maddie’s every day teacher. Although only four, she has a big heart, that heart of mine. She knows who’s important. Miss Joyce is important. Miss Joyce is vital. Miss Joyce is an integral part of so many lives. Miss Joyce is needed.
And now Miss Joyce needs us. She needs the love that she has so freely given brought back onto her in spades. She needs the warm arms of every child, parent, teacher, and friend to wrap her up and help to make her feel safe and brave and to believe in her heart of hearts that this fight will be won. After all, she has a miracle worker in the family. Just ask Maddie.