Dear Preschool Teacher…

Dear Teacher:

We have decided to remove our son from your preschool program. We had hoped a little structured classroom experience would help to prepare him for kindergarten next fall. However, it seems that we overestimated his readiness, and have decided to find a program more suited to an active child. Before we go, however, I wanted to say, “I’m sorry.”

  • I’m sorry that, unlike the other little lambs in your program, he spent so much time shooting imaginary lasers and playing “Superheroes” with the other boys. My son must have stronger leadership qualities than I’d realized, to get the other boys to run around like banshees against their will.
  • I’m sorry that other parents objected to their children learning bad words like “dead” and “kill” from Christopher, and that they considered him a “bad influence.” (He clearly got the better end of the deal, bringing home words like, “I’m stupid,” and “I’m dumb.”) We are especially sorry Christopher could not teach them even more important words — like “tolerance” and “compassion.”
  • I’m sorry that our parenting skills, which we acquired on the fly after taking three traumatized siblings into our home at once, are not up to the challenge of driving away every negative memory of his previous living situation, and that he still has bad days.
  • We are sorry that his anger and distrust of men surfaced unexpectedly when Mr. Music Teacher rebuked him in front of the class, and our son retaliated by kicking the man in the shins. (I was there at the time and, personally, I felt like doing the same.)
  • We apologize for Christopher’s sulking when the class bully pestered and teased him… right in front of his own mother, who did absolutely nothing to stop her son.
  • I am sorry you think that I have been neglecting Christopher, fitting his schedule around our work and school commitments. I’m sorry that he was forced to wear the same St. Michael costume for both angel day and saint day, and that I put him in store-bought wings rather than the painstakingly home-crafted variety.
  • I apologize for not getting up at four in the morning, like other kids’ moms, to create a four-course “snack” for thirty-five children, and for resorting to pre-packaged bagels and cream cheese. I’m sorry for bringing only homemade cookies, instead of forty-two from-scratch pies and twelve cheesecakes, for the charity fundraiser. Martha Stewart I am not.
  • I am sorry that you felt compelled to treat us like four-year-olds, rather than have the adults talk amongst themselves about their concerns, and that it was two months into the school year before your laundry list was complete, and the situation so untenable that the only solution was to remove my son from the program and his friends.
  • Most of all, I am sorry that our family as a whole did nothing to enhance the utopic environment that you and the other parents expect. Had I realized that it was not enough to shell out almost $800 a month, but that we had to be perfect as well, I would not have foisted our imperfect selves upon you all. I find it very sad that you all have boundless compassion and energy to help a group of children on the other side of the world, but could not find it in your hearts to empathize with our situation.

I’m sure it will be a relieve you all not to have Christopher around to scapegoat and me to judge and criticize. Or maybe not — who will shoulder responsibility when it turns out your little angels are just as energetic and distractable when Christopher is no longer around to take the blame?

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About hsaxton

Heidi Hess Saxton is an adoptive parent of two children, and converted to Catholicism in 1994. She is adoptive parent columnist at and She also writes for the Parenting Channel at In her spare time, she is finishing up her Master's thesis at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.

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