we leave as family



{image is a photo of a memory jar in the making. The strip, written to her aide, Ms J, says, “Thank you for helping me believe in me.”}

Dear Team Brooke,


Six years ago, Luau and I were terrified. We were clinging to the door of the preschool for dear life, unable to imagine that our beautiful, brilliant, complex girl would be able to survive elementary school. 


Today she will walk across the stage and graduate, and though we’d be lying if we said we had no fear, it’s different now. Because of you.


You taught our girl not just that people believed in her, but how to believe in herself. 


You taught her so much more than what you were tasked with teaching, you taught her that she could learn.


You taught her not just to listen to others, but how to listen to herself, and to ask for what she needs in order to be successful.


You gave her words. My God, just think about that. You gave her words.


You taught her how to play, how to invite others into a world in which she so desperately wanted company but didn’t know how to find it. 


You taught her that she was worthy of being heard.


You searched for her. You tossed convention to the wind and stepped out of your own comfort to find her. 


You celebrated not just her accomplishments, but her.


You taught her to do the same.


You showed her that she belonged.


You fought for her, even when speaking the truth was fraught with risk.


You sought not just to teach her but to learn from her.


You gave her respect, and it is that for which we are most grateful. 


In the end, you gave our girl so much more than your job required. You gave her the tools to build a foundation upon which she will expand for the rest of her life. 


You began as teachers, you became friends, we leave as family.


We will never have words big enough. 


Thank you.




Luau, Jess and Brooke

4 thoughts on “we leave as family

  1. Congratulations to Brooke for graduating and kudos to you guys (her family) and everyone who gave all the gifts you refer to in this post. ❤

  2. Congratulations to you all on Brooke’s graduation. I know what a milestone it is and how proud you are. I know your emotions are running high with gratitude to all that have helped her be where she is today. You allowed the team to work together…so important! They will always be in your heart.
    Enjoy the summer, you all deserve it!!

  3. It is unbelievable (and yet, not) that Brooke is graduating from fifth grade today. The time has flown. I would also like to thank each and every one of “the family” of educators that have helped Brooke to get to this place. I’m a very grateful and proud Grammy!

    Love you,

  4. Congratulations to all of you. This is all of your accomplishment!!! I remember when Q first started pre-school. OMG. He rode the bus at 3 1/2. I followed him all the way to the door and sat in the office until he was done! I ended up volunteering for 5 years in the office of his school. We became friends and then family. I ended up working at the intermidiate school that was his next step. 4th and 5th grade. What a blast that was to see him in his element and learning how to be a “big boy” and making life long friends. Then going into middle school and being independent, being dropped off and walking to class with all of his peers, watching as he high fived all of his buddies. What an amazing journey we have all gone through. Smiles, laughter, tears and back to smiles. Can’t wait for Q to begin school again after missing 2 full years and now going back as a sophomore in high school. Hugs to you all. Your adventure continues and you will love love love it!!!

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