18 July 2018


To the Little Owls Woodland Pre-school team, 

First of all thank you, thank you so much for all the hard work, time and attention you've given and put in to Lucas this year. I'll never truly be able to express to you how grateful I am for all you've done for Lucas but I guess an open letter and a little gift each will be the best I can do. 

I've worked in a childcare setting in the past and I know it's really bloody hard! It's exhausting both mentally and physically. You're on the go constantly, there are so many rules you have to follow that you're not always going to follow at home and remembering that is really hard, like certain words you can't use like naughty and mostly, you can sit on your phone at home and ignore your kid for 10 minutes when they're being little poo heads but you guys have to suck it up and pretend you don't want to put them in the bin and that's really hard. 
I also know that looking after others kids is really hard and you have to pretend you like every single one of them too, I mean you guys are true heroes and probably genuinely do like every child and for that I think you're even more brilliant.

This year i've seen Lucas grow from a toddler to a little boy and also go from calling himself 'Ducas' to writing Lucas out on paper (with guidance). He's learnt to not only count higher than 13 but can recognise numbers, he can recognise his name, he tells us things about nature we never knew and he knows about fire safety too, to name a few things! I just feel so overwhelmed with pride. He's learnt so much this year and I love the way he's learnt it. Watching him cook on an open fire everyday and using a saw, drill and hammer has been amazing, never in my wildest dreams could I imagine he'd be doing something like that, it's amazing. I love the way he measures sticks against his arm to see if they're too long and the way he moves spiders by their web to not hurt them as it is just the cutest thing ever. (Brad's grateful because he hates them, although we haven't trained Lucas to rid the HUGEE house spiders that will be coming in Autumn - can you teach him that before he leaves tomorrow please?)

Lucas has grown up so much and along the way, he's made friends, made bonds, made a best friend who he loves getting lifts from and playing with all day and he's made a heck of a ton of memories and you all have yourselves to thank for this. You've done this, you've helping him grow and become the little boy he is today. I wont hold the naughty part of his personality against you though, we'll blame Peppa Pig for that. As cliche as it is, Lucas wouldn't be the person he is today without the help of you all. You've all taught him things he wouldn't have learnt in your standard pre-school setting, we wouldn't have crafts made from sticks and wood and hammered in the nails himself or drilled the hole to thread the cotton through, we wouldn't see his love for nature blossom like it has, his love for outdoors. That being said he may not have needed so many baths, tick removal sessions or needed to switch the washing machine on as much as we do and he may not have as much energy as he does, or have the ability to walk 4 miles a day minimum. (On the days we used to walk him to and from as well as the walking and running around he does whilst he's there.) But, then again we wouldn't have changed the long distant walking in the rain or shine (apart from the last month when it's been far too hot to do the walk on the Wednesday) because he would have the best day ever when he was with you all. 

So, here is my post to you, Caroline, Lisa, Zara, Suzie, Ren, Rosemary, Abby, Lisa and Alisa, the ones who have looked after him, the ones I easily trusted to leave my son with, the ones who helped him grow, taught him things, listened to him tell you he was hungry all day and put up with him so I didn't have to for 15 hours a week (i'm totally joking). You've all been so amazing and the thought of him leaving is making my eyes a little weepy and my heart a little heavy BUT mine and Brad's legs will be grateful for not having to do the long walk. I for one will miss seeing you all when I was the one doing the drop offs and pick ups and I know when Lucas really clicks whats going on he is going to be really sad too. We will be back to visit, if you'll have us, as Lucas has already asked if we can bring in his new baby Brother or Sister to show you once they arrive. You've all been wonderful and I really don't have the words or anything to really show my gratitude, Brad's gratitude and Lucas' gratitude for everything you've done. I also cant thank you all enough for the daily photos, I have saved them all (the ones with Lucas in) so I can keep them to show him when he's older, I love that he has these memories to keep from the moments i'm not there with my camera in his face going "LUCAS SAY CHEESE". I am so grateful for these photo memories.

I can't thank you enough for the days you've played in the rain, jumped in muddy puddles, been freezing, been boiling and basically put up with the great British weather in order for my child and others to have the best time outdoors. That is something I really admire you for. I am sure it's not always easy. 
It's been a busy and crazy year, from storms, to forest works where Lucas constantly told us how they were "cutting down the trees", to snow in March and to the hottest Summer since the 70's and i've never heard or seen you complain once! 
I've filled out more accident forms than I've had hot dinners, because my child is a clutz but every bruise or bump has a story to tell, it tells us of how he was climbing a tree, sailing a boat to Disneyland or being a bug! He's become even more kind and i'll never forget the day I received a tapestry notification to say he'd sat with a friend who was crying and asked them if they were okay. Thank you for that, thank you for guiding him with his emotions too. Although he's NEVER shed a tear at the gate at us leaving, we just got "bye" during his first few weeks and then just a forced wave after that. 

I'll also forever be jealous that my child got to toast marshmallows on an open fire or cook bacon sandwiches (as well as lots of other delicious things) during his pre-school days - thats a dream come true. OH, and the compost toilets also took me back to my festival days and I think they're great.
Anyways, is it time to put Iris on the waiting list? Is it her turn to explore Little Owls?

Thank you all again so much, I have uploaded some photos from you from the year (without other children's faces in, I hope thats okay) So, we can remember Lucas' adventures at Little Owls Woodland pre-school)

You'll always be part of Lucas' history and his memories. You've added to the adventures in his childhood and made a huge imprint on his life. 
We'll never forget any of you,

(and Brad, Lucas and Iris) 

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