The Accusation


Brae started going to our current daycare/preschool when he was just 3 months old. He went there for nearly 6 years until he graduated last summer.

Sienna started going there at just 3.5 months old. She is now in their preschool program.

And Graem started going there when he was 6 months old, and is in their daycare program.

We have loved our daycare/preschool. It is a small, neighborhood, Spanish-immersion program. It is run by a husband and wife, each native Spanish speakers. She has her Masters’ in Education. The providers there are all native speakers. There is absolutely no technology. The kids sing, dance, play outside, do arts and crafts, and learn Spanish.

The community of parents there is united and strong. There is no fancy bus to take kids on field trips. The parents volunteer. There are no fancy toys to play with; most of them are donated from parents. The summer that Sienna was born, the parents got together to re-vamp the front yard. We showed up early on a Saturday morning, garden tools in tow, and weeded and planted.

And, just this last week, after a particularly tough several days, a group of parents showed up again early on a Saturday morning, care package in hand.

They did that because of an accusation. An ugly, viscous accusation made by a an ex-employee. A disgruntled ex-employee, as it turns out.

To better understand the reason for the care package, I need to rewind to two weeks ago. Tygh came home with the kids one evening, confused. The owners had pulled him aside, and crying and in broken English, told them that someone had filed a complaint with the Department of Human Services. The best that Tygh could make out, someone had accused the male owner of inappropriately touching children. They handed Tygh a piece of paper with the case worker’s name on it. The male owner’s license was being suspended while DHS investigated.

I took the piece of paper from Tygh, and immediately started calling my parent friends. I think I received 60 text messages that night.

I wish I could say that the first thought that popped into my head was, “That’s ridiculous. Who could possibly say such a thing?”, but it wasn’t. And not because I ever believed it to be true, but because when there is an accusation like that, I think the natural reaction from any parent is to just stop. And think. To comb your memory bank for even the smallest indication that maybe, just maybe, could there be even a shred of truth?

And I came up empty. And so did the other parents. We just did. not. believe. it. Not the owner that we knew. Not the owner that our kids adored.

And so, we rallied. We left messages for the case worker that night. She called us back the next morning, overwhelmed by the outpouring of support.

She confirmed (kind of) that the accusation was from an ex-employee. But we had the accusation wrong.

We aren’t sure what happened, but something clearly had gotten lost in translation (perhaps literally) between the case worker and the owners. The accusation had nothing to do with inappropriate touching, at least not of a sexual nature.

The accusation was that the male owner had slapped the forearm of a child, one in particular, in discipline.

We were again taken aback by this accusation. And, again, I think each of the parents stopped. Again, we mined our memory banks for anything we had witnessed, or thought we had witnessed, that would lead us to believe that this accusation was true.

And, again, nothing. We just did not believe it. Our children had never, not once, come home and mentioned that this male owner had ever inappropriately touched them (sexually or in discipline).

Over the next several days, numerous parents were interviewed (including me). The case worker confirmed that not one parent voiced any concern, including the parent of the child who had allegedly been hit.

The case worker said that, unfortunately, these sorts of accusations are made regularly. Each has to be investigated (as well they should be!), and each has to go through the paces. This would be no different. She said that if she continued to find no evidence to support the allegation, it should be resolved in a couple of weeks, and the male owner could return with his license in tact.

But, the damage has been done. You can see it on the faces of the staff, and the owners. They have been destroyed. Their reputation, their life’s work, their intentions, their love for these kids, has all been questioned.

And it makes me sad.

It makes me sad for the ex-employee who felt she needed to do this. It makes me sad for resources that could have been spent on a legitimate claim. It makes me sad for our little community.

I am not naïve. If I thought, for even a moment, that this accusation had merit, we would seriously consider pulling our kids out and going elsewhere.

We do not. That said, I am all in favor of a full investigation that will ultimately clear them. I am all in favor of any kind of education or teaching that may come out of this that will remind and reinforce to the owners and providers that in our daycare/preschool settings, we do not touch kids. Period.

But, I’m still very sad.

These are words you cannot take back. The accusation has been made. And, for some, that will be all they care about and remember.

My Defective Ovary

I’m having surgery soon. I think Jeremy and I both had this as a very real possibility in our minds and now it’s coming true. I’ve dealt with ovarian pain on an off since I was 16. Ever since the babies were born, I’ve had periods of intense pain on my right ovary. One time led to an appendectomy in 2012. Turns out my appendix was fine, but I had a bloody cyst that was the source of my “textbook” appendicitis symptoms.

I had an ultrasound last May that revealed a small “normal” cyst. My doctor suggested that I might actually have endometriosis because this particular cyst would not cause the pain I had been experiencing. We had always been told that our infertility was strictly male factor, but now perhaps we were both responsible. In any event, I started with a series of supplements prescribed by an integrative practitioner and had a great deal of relief in my symptoms of suspected endometriosis. I was thrilled to be healing.

Well, this week, pain returned with a vengeance and came to a head Wednesday night as I was in tears. Jeremy states that I have a freakishly high pain tolerance so, if I was in tears, it was bad. The only way the pain was dulled was by a shot of whiskey, so I thank Jeremy for his enjoyment of the stuff. I managed to get an appointment with a nurse practitioner at my OBGYN’s office. By the grace of God the ultrasound tech also had a cancellation and I was also able to see the OBGYN who explained that I had a complex cyst on my ovary and it needed to come out. This wasn’t the little normal one they saw last May, but larger and certainly not “normal.” There is a chance they will have to remove my ovary, but hopefully it’s not damaged by this funky looking cyst.

I’m relieved that they took my complaints to heart and took quick action to diagnose me. For now, I will deal with the pain and, while I’m not happy that I have almost a week to think about the surgery, I’m hopeful that my pain will soon go away and I can get back to normal life. Prayers for us all are greatly appreciated.



This week, I was able to see the beautiful little boy growing inside me. My anatomy scan was done and I had the outcome for which I had hoped. The scan showed a sweet little boy who is growing strong with no signs of distress. Ultrasounds can be so comforting to see that baby growing inside and is such a precious open window into the world unseen. The pictures were not as clear as I hoped they would be as he was asleep and quite tucked inside. The heart rate was in the 140’s. He is measuring at 21 weeks. The highlight of my ultrasound was seeing him yawn! These pictures left me with a peacefulness knowing he is alive, breathing, and finishing his growth-time inside his comfortable environment.

Before you were born, I carried you under my heart.
-Mandy Harrison



Losing Brae


Over the last few weeks, since we returned from Disney World, since Brae started kindergarten up again, and since I went back to work, something almost imperceptible has changed.

But I have noticed it.

And it makes me so very, very sad.

And, a little bit proud.

We are slowly losing Brae.

He is growing up. Our grip on him has loosened. He’s coming into his own. He is a boy. A school-aged kid.

He has his own ideas, opinions, and interests, and he articulates them like an adult.

He has manners (when he chooses to use them) that rivals most colleagues of mine.

He has sleepovers. At other people’s houses. And he packs his own bag.

He picks out his clothes, knows the way he wants to wear his hair, and can make himself his favorite snack.

But, it’s not just these things. If it was just these things, I may feel only a little sad.

But I feel very sad.

And the thing that makes me the most sad is that, when I pick him up from a long day at school, he climbs in the back of the car, and is silent the whole way home. No more gibberish about his days at day care, or his days in preschool. Those days are gone. Instead, he gazes tiredly out the back of the window, watching the world go by. He’s exhausted from a big day of learning, playing, and navigating social norms with kids of all ages. Fatigued by making new friends and keeping the old. Labored by mounting homework, school expectations, and little boy responsibilities. He looks worn from the weight of the world on his tiny, kindergarten shoulders.

This makes me sad because he is experiencing real, grown-up emotions, and doesn’t feel the need to seek me out for comfort. Instead, he just wants to sit with his feelings, and figure them out.

This also makes me a little proud because I feel we have done a good job, so far, of equipping him for the world. He is independent, smart, personable, appropriately cautious, and curious. And yet, if we are to fully complete our job in preparing him, we need to allow him to feel those uncomfortable, unavoidable life feelings, and figure out how to deal with them.

But, he’s also still just a little six-year-old boy, that I see still as my six-month-old firstborn. And, I’m sad that I cannot protect him from uncomfortable feelings, and even sadder that he doesn’t expect me to.

brae kindergarten