Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thank you Sunshine House

Dear Sunshine House Faculty,

Thank you for taking such good care of Tyler for the past four years. Todd and I are truly grateful for the roles you have played in his life and for helping him become such a funny, bright, kind and caring boy. It is hard to believe that Tyler was just six months old when he started coming to the Sunshine House.

In the infant room he learned to sit up, play with toys, hold his bottle by himself, and crawl. He received lots of attention and plenty of hugs from Miss Doreen, Miss Frieda and Miss Meg. Once Tyler learned how to drink from a sippy cup, he moved to the toddler one room. We are grateful!

He was welcomed into this room by Miss Clara and Miss Lauren. Here he learned to walk, eat at the big boy table, sleep on a cot, say a few words, and share toys. Again he received lots of attention and plenty of hugs. Now he was ready for the toddler two room. We are grateful!

He spent his time with Miss Neen and Miss Karen. Under their watchful eyes, he learned to swing and go down the slide on the playground, do art projects and talk, talk, talk. Again he received lots of attention and plenty of hugs. Now he was ready for the two-year-old room. We are grateful!

It was in this room that he became a little boy, thanks to Miss Kasha and Miss Deva. He learned manners in this room, “ladies first,” played housekeeping, ran around the playground, actually sat and paid attention to stories, and was potty trained. Again he received lots of attention and plenty of hugs. Now it was time to move to the other hallway and join the three year old. We are grateful!

In here he learned Spanish, learned what authors and illustrators do, participated in his first trike-a-thon, and learned why fire drills are important. Miss Maria and Miss Sue were very patient and helped Tyler through the transition of becoming a big brother. Again he received lots of attention and plenty of hugs. Now he was ready for preschool. We are grateful!

Tyler had a great experience in this room. He learned to write his name, had homework for the first time (which our dog, Tobi, ate), played in centers, fine tuned his art skills, tried a few vegetables, learned to rest instead of nap, learned to recognize site words and began to understand the true meaning of friendship. Miss Deva and Miss Karen believed in Tyler and prepared him for TK. Again he received lots of attention and plenty of hugs. Now he was ready for summer camp. We are grateful!

This summer he had the opportunity to spend time in TK with Miss Karen and Miss Denise. He had a great time learning how to use the computer, learning a few karate moves, enjoyed ice cream on Wednesdays, always looked forward to Friday water days, and learned to pick up after himself. Again he received lots of attention and plenty of hugs. Now he is ready for the next chapter in his life – TK at Providence Day School. We are grateful!

It is true that it takes a village to raise a child, We are so happy that we chose the Sunshine House village in Huntersville to help us raise Tyler. All of you have left an impression on Tyler, one he won’t soon forget.

Thank you for all you have done for Tyler and our family!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Talking without Words

The other day at the dinner table Tyler announced that he could talk loud without using any words. We all sort of looked at him, giggled and said, “okay Tyler.” Later that night after tugging both kids into bed, I thought more about what Tyler said and realized that he was right. He is pretty profound for a four year-old.

His hugs say, “I love you,” his bright eyes and big smile say, “I am excited, this is great,” and his trembling lips say, “I am a bit nervous or scared right now.” Then there is the stomping of the feet, which says, “I am not going to cooperate right now.” He also expresses himself through his art projects. The details of his drawings show his intensity and the bright colors he uses show his happiness and imagination.

Tyler is not the only one in our house that can talk loud without words. At 17 months old, Molly continuously amazes me with how she communicates her feelings and demands. She truly understands what we say to her and what we ask her to do. Tonight she looked at me, pointed down the hallway and walked to the door. When I asked her if she wanted to go outside, she shook her head of full of light brown curls (caused by the humidity) and clapped her hands.

When she is hungry or wants a drink, she walks to her booster seat and when I ask her if she needs a change, she pats her little butt. When she wants to cuddle, she puts her head on my shoulder, when she wants me to pick her up, she puts her hands in the air and when she wants me to read her a story, she brings me a book.

The one that is both a little funny, yet disturbing is when she takes my hand and walks me over to the television. This usually means she is ready to watch the Bubble Guppies on Nick Jr. Tyler simply hands me the remote when it is time for The Backyardigans, Dora the Explorer or The Fresh Beat Band.

I hope that Tyler and Molly understand what I am saying when I hug them, snuggle with them, grab/squeeze their hand, chase them around the backyard, write stories about them and yes, sometimes even put them in a time out. I know what I am saying, “I love you and I am lucky to be your mommy.”

True confession of the night: I hope that my actions can always speak louder than my words.