Change is hard. Change is very hard.
This year has been full of change, all kinds of change. Fast change, the peel the band aid off kind of change mixed with the slow kind, the change you stew with and sit with until inevitably it happens and you are still here, still breathing and living and doing. Change is rarely easy, necessary but not easy.
This year I changed careers. That change is a big one, a really big one! Several weeks ago, I said goodbye to an era and set out for something new. Bradt school is less of a job and more of a family, surrounded in walls that hold some precious memories and connections to Madeline.
It was time for new walls, new adventures and new goals… I don’t know if I can say it any better than this…
Dear Bradt Family,
I am writing to let you all know that I have accepted a position at The Red Cross. I am very excited (and to be honest a bit scared for the transition) but I know it is the next journey for this lady. I will be recruiting and supporting volunteers for blood drives, disaster relief and some military support. It will be a challenge, but boy do I love a good challenge.
Thank you. Thank you for being my family through so many difficult times. I feel a huge connection to Bradt’s hallways. Those grey and white tiles and rainbow painted rooms have housed all three of my girls, and there are no more hallways or doors or rooms that will ever do that again. I still can hear Madeline singing the songs she was learning for Morning Program, then to hear Amelia and Lucy sing those same songs has been painful and perfect. I am honored and grateful for the roles you all played in building my girls. I know they were safe and loved and learning and laughing… all important things.
When I joined Bradt, as an employee and not just a Mystery Reader Extraordinaire, I thought I would occasionally sub in the cafeteria. Alma had a different plan for me, and the Special Ed department holds a very big part of my heart. I will never forget the funny times and the most difficult times… you become very close working in BSD, must be the trust and sweat. I have worked at Bradt since Lucy entered Kindergarten and took her spot in the Lime Room- she is in 5th grade now! I have accrued over a million steps from A-wing to F-wing… I have met with and worked with some of the most amazing educators and staff. I am honored to work with the most amazing support staff, ladies and gentlemen that are in the background of education. I may not have known to recognize them if I didn’t travel this road. I will forever know that every kid is being cared for with an extra big hug from Mrs. Delgallo, extra food in the backpack from an Assistant or Mrs. Reilman’s shoulder and strategies.
I have never been a big fan of the saying “It takes a village”… I always think of it more as a family, a village has lots of people I don’t want to influence my girls. I don’t just let my girls out to wander a village, but I love that they are surrounded by a family, a big quirky family. I am thankful for being a part of a family that has built my girls and myself- through death and divorce and pain. You are all part of my light at the end of the tunnel…
I will not only miss you guys, I will miss the kids I love lots… and the walkie talkie, I will definitely miss that walkie talkie. I can’t imagine life without “DAVE/JOE” or answering Code Reds with ‘Received’… only to forget where you needed to be. I imagine life without a walkie will be a weird one.
Good luck guys, keep building great people and teaching them manners, social skills, a bit of reading, some Eureka math and the importance of love and respect. I am trusting you all with that… for me I will go try a new adventure and come back when you need a Professional Mystery Reader.
I have been with the American Red Cross Eastern New York Region for just over a month. I have learned so much, it is like everyday I learn more information about the work of the Red Cross in our communities and Internationally. I am a Volunteer Recruitment Specialist, which a very important task considering 90% of the Red Cross work is done by volunteers. I love the people I am meeting- employees and volunteers. I love the overlap with my hometown- shout out to Watertown. I love knowing that my role in recruiting and securing a solid volunteer base ensures that there are volunteers at every fire to support a family directly, volunteers supporting and connecting our military families to their deployed soldiers, volunteers advocating and helping veterans have basic needs, Volunteers teaching children about fire safety, volunteers transporting lifesaving blood to hospitals or supporting at blood drives and while people are evacuating disasters there are volunteers that will head there to feed and shelter and offer comfort to people who are suffering. What can I tell you, I have learned A LOT!
It has been a month of learning and juggling; in ways I have never needed to. Amelia and Lucy are super proud, and love to hear about the programs, they hope to participate one day. I am proud to say Lucy has my card displayed on her desk top near her dried dead beetles, a picture of her and her sisters dressed as super heroes and her military wallet from Aunt Molly… you gotta be cool to be on that shelf. Amelia is loving the fact that I borrow her makeup and ask her for advice on my new business casual outfits. I am grateful for the help of the girl’s grandparents and my friends. It has been new and crazy and full of change, but it is all working out … and at the end of the day we are each still there breathing and living and doing.
Onward to new challenges, but looking back on my family at Bradt, with the reminder that I will come read for any kiddo who has no mystery reader or needs a ‘stand in’ parent for a special lunch. I have some deep roots in Rotterdam, but my wings are bringing me all around the region. Thank you to all who have helped or supported this big change, thank you Dania for the snazzy new headshots that you squeezed in for me to look like a grown up, thank you to all who listen when I tell you the 100 new things I learned about the American Red Cross… I will have 100 more to tell you next time- or better yet sign up to volunteer and be a part of something profound- a mission to alleviate human suffering.