Erin, Andrew and Ellie

To Miss Leah, Miss Lauren and Miss Erika- the fearless, fabulous leaders of the toddler clan of MCHVF,

It is an impossible necessity of parenthood that we must sometimes make choices for our children with, essentially, no idea what we are doing. From the moment I laid eyes on my chatty, bossy, dancey, hungry, clever little girl, I knew only two things absolutely: that I was in way over my head, and that even so, I would spend every day trying to help her become the very best and happiest person she could be.

Sometimes, the road to that end has been covered in mistakes, and chaos, and tears and peanut butter, and all I can do is hold on for the ride. But others, including and especially the day MCHVF became part of our lives, it has been so full of grace and joy, that I can’t believe someone could be so lucky to travel it.

At first, it was the little things- the way she rode home from school quiet and contented, watching thoughtfully out the window and commenting on the weather. The way she stood up to zipper her shoes, pulled back her hair, carried her bags into the house without being asked, folded her napkin and set it carefully next to her dinner plate…

But in every day, it seemed, we saw bigger change and learned even more about the complex and amazing person she Is becoming- chatting about her friends, singing her songs, speaking in Spanish, looking for birds, pretending to read, growing flowers, hanging laundry, chopping peppers, pouring milk, looking for kindness, emphasizing goodness. Understanding her mistakes, and owning her consequences. Feeling remorse but not dwelling on what has passed. Lining up her shoes. Hugging her friends when she sees them at the park. LOVING her teachers. Skipping all the way to school.

I hope you know, that in all of these moments- in her gentle times and mindful phrases and her nurturing instincts and resolute confidence and beautiful gestures- I see your faces and I hear your voices. I understand so certainly that you are there each day, working and inspiring and guiding her, because you are the kind of people who want to help us grow our children into what they are already destined to be- wonderful, compassionate, mindful, kind, happy humans who, just like you, will leave this world so much better than they found it. And I have gratefully accepted your help and guidance and brilliance at every s!ngle turn.

So I know I will never truly feel as if I’ve thanked you for all that you have given to Ellie, to me and to my family, but of course I have to try …

So thank you, kind and brave teachers who we care for so much. Thank you for your early mornings and rainy afternoons, for your gentle hearts and warm hugs, your great expectations and your boundless patience, for teaching my daughter about the world outside her door, and showing her that it is as beautiful as she could ever imagine. Thank you for being there to cultivate and to nurture her, to teach her, and to help her become more today than she was the day before. Thank you. From the bottom of my grateful, humble heart.

You have changed her for the better at every step, and I promise we will never, ever, forget it.


With all our love and gratitude,

Erin, Andrew and Ellie (Current Family at MCHVF)


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