When I was pregnant with Maci, I loathed the thought of having to look for daycare. Originally from Iowa, I didn't have a reservoir of resources at my disposal for this great Minnesota metropolis and I had no idea even where to start. The task of finding a complete stranger and asking them to take care of our baby seemed more daunting to me then even the actual birth of said baby. How on earth do you begin to go about finding such a place? A mecca of motherhood if you will. A place you put 100% trust and faith in. A place you have complete confidence will treat and love your newborn just as much as you do. A place that is not only inviting and entertaining, but above all, safe and secure. A place ran by a person that you feel comfortable, for all intents and purposes, having help raise your child. As with most great stories, my answer was pure, dumb coincidence and a little bit of luck.
I happen to be working with Miss Bree at the big bad B(olger) when she decided to quit her job and open a daycare … just in time for us to need one. I might have made a phone call or two to inquire about other possibilities but in the back of my mind, I knew nothing was going to be an easier decision. Sure, she was just starting and didn't have any references or even a license yet. Sure, she was still in the process of getting all the facilities up to par. And sure, she was way, way, WAY out of the way from our house or work (stupid Interstate 94), but honestly, knowing we'd know who was watching our first born was priceless to us. What they say is true: You cannot put a price on peace of mind. Especially when it comes to your children.
So Maci Mae started going to Bree's when she was just eight weeks old. And she's been going there ever since. Until today. Today is her last day at Owl Tree Daycare. Due to circumstances beyond Team DeBoer's control, daycare is closing and Bree is actually moving clear across the country (to stupid California). While I truly am excited for her and her family and am trying to focus on the fact that our "village" is just expanding, I'm also heartbroken. For my Maci especially.
(I will NOT cry. Dammit. I put on mascara today!)
A big part of what Maci knows is changing and even though she may not even remember this time in her life, Shawn and I sure will as we are forever and undoubtedly in debt to Bree. She not only loved our first born as her own for two years, she basically helped turn her into the little person she is today. She taught her how to nap and follow a schedule, she introduced us to pouches and (fucking) Matilda Jane, she coined the "Mae Mo" and "nu nu" nicknames, she helped bring music pageants, movie nights and "tootats" into our lives, she took on cloth diapers (voluntarily) and she's been there for every other step in Maci's life so far: the sitting, crawling and standing; the walking and talking; the fevers, pink-eyes and teething; the sass, tantrums and screaming; the bruises, band-aids and bug bites; and the smiles, giggles and belly-laughs. Second only to her parents, no one else knows Maci Mae better. And for that we are forever grateful.
(Okay, I give. Someone get me a tissue. Or better yet, a beer.)
I literally could go on and on and on and on but suffice it to say, Bree is irreplaceable and everyone in this house is going to miss her (and her daycare) terribly. To that end, we will also miss the chats, emails, texts, phone calls, invites, get-togethers, field trips, blogs and especially the photos we've been receiving on a near daily basis for the past two years, those of which started with the following:
And finally, we MUST acknowledge and say a ginormous thank you to the entire Owl Tree Daycare "team": KK (Kirsten), Papa (Bill), Nana (Barb), Allison, Blythe and every other happy helper we've had along the way. Even Sir Gus and Miss Lola. Good luck Team Bielejeski! We'll see you again soon!