When I waved my child off on the first day of school, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would you really understand her? Would you appreciate her kindness and special personality? Would you be able to see the beautiful, unique person she really is?

I worried my child would struggle with the pace, the schedule, the number of kids. I worried she would get too much attention or not enough, or that you wouldn’t notice when she had a hard time and needed help. I wondered if she would be too outgoing for the classroom, causing a distraction, or perhaps too shy, and go unnoticed.

I wasn’t sure if you would have time to coach her when she felt overwhelmed, or if you would be able to recognize the signs of emotional distress. I wondered if she would slip through the halls of that school like a shadow—unnoticed, unrecognized, unappreciated.

I worried she would miss me.

After a year of watching her bloom and grow under your care, I realize those worries were groundless.

You have coached her and complimented her. You have been her advocate, her counselor and her guide. You have prayed for her struggles and cheered for her successes. Your face lights up when you see her, and you always seem happy when she comes to give you a hug.

You have poured so much into her life.

You gave your time—after school, before school, weekends—nothing was ever really nine-to-five for you.

You gave your diligence. You taught when you were sick. You taught when you were tired. You taught when you were sad and weary from things in your own life.

You gave your passion. You got excited about perfect spelling tests. You made up songs for math facts. You coached, cajoled and cheered. Your desire for my daughter to succeed was second only to mine and her father’s.

You gave your attention. You know her name. You know her favorite color and animal. You know her favorite subjects and the ones she isn’t really a fan of. You can identify her voice in a crowd of voices.

You gave your heart. You cared about her worries. You felt sadness when she was distressed and you smiled when she was excited. You rebuked and admonished. You hugged and praised. You loved.

So, thank you.

Thank you for doing what you do and for being who you are. Thank you for giving and giving and giving, even on those days when you felt like you had nothing left to give. Thank you for your encouragement and compassion, your correction and your grace. Thank you for caring for the child of my heart for all those hours she was away from me.

Now my only worry is . . . what will we do next year without you?

A grateful mom

Originally published on the author’s blog 

Sandra Samoska

Sandra Samoska is a stay at home wife and mom of four beautiful children. She enjoys writing about her faith, family, and how her family has grown her faith on her blog Outnumbered. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.