I have attempted to write this message for over a month. Every time I begin, the tears overwhelm my eyes and cannot bring courage to carry on. I want to thank you, all the directors, and every teacher for giving my kids a gift I could never provide for them. When we moved to Atlanta and began looking for schools, my goal was to find a school that could provide a way for them to learn how to communicate with their abuela y abuelo and have a connection with my husband, their dad’s, heritage and stories. I still remember touring the Emory campus and all the parents on the tour asking all about the academics. I also remember the answer the director gave, “We want them to love Spanish and kids develop at their own pace and we try to meet them where they are. We want them to have fun.” While I am positive this was not the answer those particular parents wanted to hear, it was the perfect answer for me. My twenty plus years of working in child development (although much different field); that was what I wanted for my children. There are lots of ways to become book smart; but only a short time to teach a child to love, care, play, and be themselves. I do not remember much from orientation (I had just given birth to Nico); but I remembered being volunteered to be room parent. I think Nancy and Rozanna saw a sleep deprived non-Spanish speaking mom and thought, sure she can do it. I am so happy that they volunteered me. I failed a lot that year, but learned so much. I also remember the first time someone brought Grace to my car who I never met and she and Grace shared a sweet exchange, she then told me something very specific about Grace and my heart melted. She knew my child, and she loves my child. As a first-time mom, all of my questioning, uneasiness and doubt subsided. Then we switched to the Buckhead campus; and I could not believe the amount of amazing teachers that are here as well. They put up a with the craziness of my questions, concerns, potty training, throwing shoes, not listening, tantrums, and be told they are sooo dramatic. And each time, they came with love and support. I truly love each one of your teachers even the ones I never had the opportunity to have but have learned about through car pool, stories, zoom videos, and events. I am so grateful that my kids are able to speak with their Cuban family easily. I also appreciated Grace’s observation in our last Miami trip: “Mom people in Miami do not speak Spanish well. They mix it with English. Do they not understand you are not supposed to do that?” Alex and I had a laugh and explained Spanglish to her. I know the last couple of years have not gone as planned; but I am so grateful for the enthusiasm and energy of the teachers to teach during difficult times. I appreciate all that you have done for us. Although we will still be in the after-school program; missing all the day to day contact makes my heart sad.
Thank you for giving my children the best gift a mom could ever ask for!