the love ambush

my husband and i first wandered into the world of parenting like one of those freaky friday-type movies when a teenager wakes up to find they are ceo.  we had no idea what we were doing.  i’m still a bit perplexed by how we could be so completely blindsided by the whole thing. i was older than both my siblings and took care of them a lot.  we both had friends with babies. shouldn’t we have a better idea what we were supposed to be doing!?

i remember wishing that the pediatrician was coming home with us from the hospital.  um, he didn’t. he let us take the screaming, pooping, totally dependent little person home with us and nobody was even supervising the whole operation!

“you got a car seat? great, you are good to go!”

i’ve had time sheets given more scrutiny.

as we stumbled blindly through–amazed on a daily basis that we all remained alive–we slowly amassed the community of people essential to surviving the ride.  one of those people was our daycare provider, sandi.  she has the gentle nature that makes it possible for a sleep-deprived, work-stressed, over-caffeinated, crying jag-prone parent to hear, ‘yes indeed. your child is hungry. you are not feeding him enough and you need to supplement with formula even though you are fiercely dedicated to breastfeeding.’   huh.

for nearly two years, she was the one that let us ride off to work without worrying or feeling guilty. when our second child came along, we were excited to get to see her again on a daily basis.  she and her staff became nothing short of co-parents with us.

so, it was a bittersweet moment in the late summer when it came time for our youngest to move on out of her care. it meant we were moving on from miss sandi.  and, i knew i couldn’t let it happen without doing something special.  so, i got in touch with as many parents as i could and we made her a quilt. one quilt square for each child.

 

i rented out the space i use for my sewing classes for a one-day ‘make a quilt square’ event. and then dropped supplies off around town for a half-dozen more.  after a small bit of nagging and email hounding i gathered up all the quilt squares and started making the quilt. we’d already arranged the meet-up with her, so i had just a few days. i had to bust it out!

 

{even the cat helped a bit}

in the end, we made a quilt for her with squares from 24 kids and 17 different families. stitches and fabric from a sample of the kids and families she has loved over the past few years.  look at that quilt! it’s amazing! what if those kids all grow up and stay in this community and this little bit of time in their lives is still there on this quilt? it’s like a time capsule. the quilt has bits of fabric from special blankets, favorite type of toys and songs represented, the things that are special and amazing about each kid stitched together.

we intended to throw her a surprise picnic. i told her that my family wanted to meet up with her for bagels at the park.  really, 8-10 families planned to meet at the park and surprise her…let the kids play in the park while we snacked and chatted and gave her the quilt.

and, of course, it rained like crazy that day.  sandi and her husband were stranded in long island with water flooding the roads. but they got up at something like 4am to drive back FOR A SMALL GATHERING AT OUR HOUSE. they really did.  the roads were treacherous and rather than cancel they drove because she didn’t want disappoint my boys.  meanwhile, our house was filling up with kids and parents and food waiting for her.  and, that is when we (as one mom described it) love ambushed her.  she arrived…unshowered, tired, expecting a relaxing brunch with 4 people.  she was greeted by about 10 kids screaming SHE’S HERE!! then came the crowd and the food and the quilt.  it was a bit much i think.  there were some tears and a (respected) request for no close up pictures.  was it nice, what we did? i’m not sure.  but, it was well-intended. it was a love ambush after all, not just an ambush.  just an awkward way to say ‘thanks. you are amazing.’  thanks sandi. you are amazing.

2 Comments on the love ambush

  1. sandi cacace
    November 11, 2011 at 3:45 pm (5 years ago)

    I just cried my eyes out reading this.Thank you so much for everything, you not only sew and teach beautifully but you write so well too. I was taken back to the day I received my amazing quilt and to everyone who put their time into making it.I thank all of you!xoMiss Sandi

    Reply
    • ahappystitch
      November 11, 2011 at 4:24 pm (5 years ago)

      meant every word, sandi!

      Reply

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