Hi WonderHere friends & fam!
So, this is not the blog post I originally intended to post today. However, my heart is so full that I just had to write this and get it out there. Full of what, you ask?
Full of gratitude for all that’s happened within the last year…
especially getting to know and partner with our amazing WonderHere parents!
From the beginning, Tiffany and I said we want WonderHere to be more than just a place where kids learn and play. We want our little corner of Lakeland to be a place where genuine community happens… with our kiddos, with our parents, with our team. We want everyone who walks through our doors to feel like they belong… because they do! We’ve been intentional about making this happen on a daily basis, and we’re blessed to serve families that make it easy to be in community with.
One of our favorite things about our day-to-day operation is that we have no car line for drop off / pick up (it would be impossible to do so in the bustle that is South Florida in downtown), so our parents come into our studio to drop off their kids in the morning and come back in to pick them up in the afternoon. We LOVE these parts of the day. We love chatting with parents in our lobby, checking in with them as their child lingers to play just a bit more, joking around (our parents are HILARIOUS), and teaming up with them on a consistent basis to provide their kids with the best learning experiences possible. We’ve also loved hosting fun family events like our Friends-Giving and Christmas party. Doing life with these people has been a joy 🙂
As awesome as it’s been from the start, we feel like our parents have taken their commitment and support to a whole other level since the start of this semester… and I think it’s because we’ve allowed them to. We must admit, Tiffany and I tend to try and do everything by ourselves. I don’t know if that’s just a teacher thing… we’re used to working in isolation, and we know (through experience) that it’s “easier” to do things alone than have to explain to others what needs to be done and feel like we’re burdening them with extra tasks. We also wear a lot of hats lately… business owner, teacher, mom, student. Sometimes it seems simpler to power through and get it done than rely on others.
Well we’ve been dead wrong, and it’s taken our super mamas stepping up to prove it to us.
You see, a year ago today was WonderHere’s debut as a legitimate business when we had a booth at First Friday for the first time ever. We were so excited… Tiffany and I took a personal day from work to prepare everything. It was exhilarating! We met so many people who were excited about what we were starting. To talk about WonderHere to strangers and get positive feedback meant the world!
Since then, we’ve obviously transitioned into actually running WonderHere, and towards the end of last semester our stamina began to slow down. No longer could we take the day off from work to prepare for an event… we’d simply push through, just the two of us, tackling anything and everything alone. Our parents began to notice how full our plates were. After attending our vision casting meeting and hearing our BIG, EXCITING news (that we can’t share publicly just yet… but wait for it!), they understood that we can’t pull off something so big on our own. They also heard in passing that we weren’t going to be at the next First Friday because of how tired we were. So, they decided to take matters into their own hands and create a Parent Involvement Committee.
In a short amount of time, they organized a huge yard sale, they’ve brainstormed fundraising ideas, they completely planned and ran last night’s beautiful First Friday booth (and wouldn’t even let us stay the whole time!). They’ve met together multiple times already to put into action our vision for 2017 and think and create on our behalf. Most importantly, they’ve breathed new life into us.
Our parents truly share from the gifts and talents and resources they possess. Some mamas volunteer their time to watch the kids during lunch so Tiffany and I can have a quiet lunch time. Others bless us with a stock load of cleaning supplies and ink from SAM’S Club and new vacuums. Some bless us with their daily words of encouragement that fuel us more than they could ever know. Some have taken on the huge responsibility, alongside their son- our esteemed student body treasurer, to raise funds and awareness towards our school being built in Guatemala. Some bless us with their artistic skills, others by helping to spread the word about what we’re doing. I can’t think of one WonderHere family that doesn’t give back in some way. All differences aside, they have one common trait: they bless us by trusting us to teach and care for their children, and they help us be the best we can be.
So, parents, all this to say… WonderHere would not exist without you.
Cheers to you 🙂