I want to start off by saying thank you. Thank you for the sleepless night I had last night, thank you for the hours I spent lying awake staring at the ceiling worrying about what in the world I am going to do now. I couldn’t turn off my brain no matter how hard I willed myself to, knowing that in 3 hours, 2 hours, 1 hour, my 5:50am alarm would be chiming in my ear telling me to wake up even though I was already wide-eyed. And trust me, as I laid there, I came up with the mother of all speeches, oh it was good, it was chock full of sarcasm and anger and all the things you should hear so you could realize just how badly one little note you left each of us parents yesterday at daycare pickup would affect us.
The note. It said that after careful consideration you have decided to close the doors at daycare because owning 2 centers has become too much to handle. That you are keeping your other center open but that there is no room for any of us. That you spent 9 months looking for a buyer and couldn’t find one so you were giving up and closing down.
You’ve been looking for 9 months. You chose to give us 11 days notice.
Do you know I work for a commercial real estate company? Do you know that I personally know an agent who buys and sells daycare centers and that’s all he does? That he has a database of thousands of people across the country who may have been interested in buying the center? No, you don’t. But had you let us families know your plan months ago, maybe, just maybe you could have gotten some help or ideas or, I don’t know, something from the brilliant mothers and fathers who drop their kids off to you every single day so they can go to work and earn their paychecks and keep coming back week after week. We could have been resources. You had dozens of people who would have done whatever they could to keep the place open, right at your fingertips but you chose to keep us in the dark, and then give us 11 whole days to figure out where we are going to take our children after a week from Friday.
I see what your plan was, tell us at the end of the day on a Monday after we’ve given you our week’s tuition, then use our deposits that we put down when we first enrolled to pay for the last week. That way you wouldn’t have to worry about giving us enough time to find somewhere else and pull our kids out before you closed the doors, leaving you with anything less than being fully funded your last 2 weeks being open. But come on. A month. You couldn’t even give us a month.
To know that you have been planning this for 9 months, nine freaking months, and didn’t have enough respect for all of the families, children and teachers who have kept your business going, who have trusted you to be a safe place for us to drop off our kids while we go to work, to give us anything more than 11 days notice before closing the doors for good? That’s the part that I can’t wrap my brain around.
On our way to daycare drop off this morning, I actually had butterflies in my stomach thinking about all the things I wanted to say to you when I got there. But when Summer and I walked through the door and you said your chipper, “hi!” I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t even look you in the eye and so instead I focused on my girl, getting her settled in for the day and I left still angry. Because no matter how great my little speech could have been, it wouldn’t have changed anything. You would still be closing the doors in less than 2 weeks. I’d still be taking time off work in the next week to find a new safe place for my baby. I’d still be anxious and worried and calling at lunch time and wondering if my baby is ok and adjusting and playing with the new kids and trusting a teacher that I hope deserves her trust less than 2 weeks from now. Whatever I could have or should have said to you, it didn’t matter.
I know there’s a blessing in disguise here somewhere. I don’t see it yet. Maybe this will be good preparation for Summer when she starts school and has to adjust all over again. Maybe wherever the new place ends up being, it’ll be better. I don’t know. All I know is that I wasn’t the only mother lying wide awake last night worried, angry, and exhausted, and yes, I’m sure you’ve had plenty of sleepless nights over this decision you made, too. I just wish that there had been a little more respect given to the pregnant mom who picks up her 2 kids at the end of the day, or to Miss Mary who has been there for years and plays with those little babies like they are her own, or to Conor and Logan’s family who just started there a few months ago, or to Miss Christine who just quit her other job last week to work for you full-time, I just don’t get it. This is why I’m not a business woman because I wouldn’t have been able to face all the parents this morning after the business bomb you dropped yesterday, my compassion would have gotten in the way.
Good luck, Miss Patty. I hope you’re sleeping at night better than the rest of us.
– Summer’s Mommy