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An Open Letter to My Son's Preschool Teachers

Photograph by Twenty20

Dear Miss Gabby and Mr. Adrian,

Today we watched our son graduate preschool. I'm the first to admit, I think that we do these graduation things far too often in our society. While everyone gets emotional about these "milestones," I usually remain stoic in my refusal to shed a single tear. I'm saving those tears for our son's Bar Mitzvah and his high school graduation and hoping enough will be leftover for college, his wedding and grandchildren years from now.

So I'm a little upset with you, his dear teachers, because you made me shed a tear today.

Why? I'll tell you…

You're probably not too keenly aware of this, but you were two of the most important people in our lives for the past year.

For three hours a day, five days a week, you have been a teacher, mentor, role model, security guard, parent, counselor and friend to the most precious thing in our lives. How the hell could I ever possibly thank you and express our love for you?

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We dropped off our son to you in September. At that point, the only thing we knew about you was that the school we chose trusted to hire you.

Let's be honest, that means we knew very little about you.

You were—and still are—two sweet, presentable, friendly people both in your twenties. So, I suppose that was a good first impression.

As a man in his early forties, it actually seems strange that I would trust two people in their twenties to look after my child and many other children After all, when I was in my twenties, I was young and stupid. So I always assume all people are young and stupid at that age. (If it's any consolation, I'm now old and stupid.)

Do you have any inkling of an idea of how important you are to us? My God, you are our heroes.

My wife and I quickly realized that you both were amazing and caring people. Our child immediately grew to love you and that made us love you as well. There were days that our child would drive us crazy with questions about everything in the world. "Why is the sky blue?" "How are rocks made?" "What kind of dinosaur is that?" "How many years will our dog live?" "How does a television work?"

These questions get exhausting. And now I must confess, half the time I would just say "Wait until you get to school, and ask Miss Gabby and Mr. Adrian."

So thank you for saving me from being a more adequate parent. I owe you for that.

The most important thing to know is this: In the crazy world we live in, it 's monumental that a parent can drop his child off with people he intrinsically trusts. Do you know how significant that is in the grand scheme of things? Do you have any inkling of an idea of how important you are to us? My God, you are our heroes.

And if there's a single parent out there that doesn't feel this way about his or her children's teachers, then one of two things is happening.

1. That teacher is terrible.

2. That parent is a d-bag

Lucky for us, you are not terrible (the complete opposite, obviously) and I am not a (complete) d-bag.

Twenty years from now, you'll look back and realize that you have helped mold and influence hundreds and hundreds of young people. I won't be surprised or offended if you don't remember us or our child. But I want you to know, with the deepest sincerity, that we will remember and still revere you.

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I'm not a wealthy man, but if I were, I'd love to share my riches. All I have are these words, and I share them with you.

We love you and we are in awe of you. And if every single person doesn't take at least a moment to appreciate what you do (and what all teachers do) for our children, then they don't deserve what you have given us.

Thank you for loving our child.

Thank you for making our child safe

Thank you for earning our trust.

Thank you for your dedication.

Thank you for helping to raise the most important person I've ever known.

With complete love and sincerity,

A Grateful Dad

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