Today is Isaac's last day at Julie's.
It'll be the last time he runs up her steps, bursts through her door and makes himself at home at her kitchen table. The last time he spends a day under her care. And that care she gives him is relaxed and loving and lighthearted. She's been a central part of Isaac's life (of our family's life) over the past two years.
I wonder if she realizes the influence she has.
Isaac arrived at her place, a quiet little boy, just 16 months old. He made friendships at Julie's - he and Maddie are good friends now... as well as he and Peyton and Tegan and the other kids he's spent time with. Julie is his friend too. And they've had simple adventures together: walks to freshco, hellos to the neighbourhood dogs, swingset races, playdo creations, time on the toilet, cozy book readings, tents in living rooms, glue and shapes and stickers... and a whole lot more that I never saw... because there he was at Julie's place... and we trusted her completely with our son, Isaac Jay.
And she has been so patient. They had some rough days. But she always saw his heart and understood him and loved him.
She has a gift.
One day our neighbour ran into Julie and her kidlets at the library. They all sat through storytime there together. And our neighbour told me later she saw that Julie was real gentle and that the kids were secure with her. She could tell in just that short period of time. It's true.
So Isaac will say goodbye to Julie at the end of today. He knows it's his last day with her... but he doesn't quite get it. He'll say thank you, Julie, because that's what we've asked him to do... but he won't quite understand that he's thanking her for all this, for all the love, really.
And we will feel a little sad... but not too sad... because we know we'll see Julie and Maddie and Peyton again... real soon.