Dear Sonshine Academy parents,
On this much-celebrated “day of love,” Scott and I wanted to take a few minutes to share how much we love and appreciate you! We completely understand that being a parent is not for the faint of heart. In fact, it is the single most amazing and difficult job in the world.
We remember being pregnant with our first child—all the plans we made and all the classes we took. We were patting ourselves on the back and thinking, “We have so got this! After all, we are teachers and coaches, and we love children—how hard could this job really be!?” (We know you are choking on laughter right now!)
So … the first lesson we learned is that children have their own schedules, and they choose when to show up! Our son decided to throw me into labor at the beginning of my college graduation ceremony. In spite of enduring the longest ceremony ever (our last name begins with a “W”), he waited until 8 a.m. the next morning to make his arrival. We immediately discovered that nothing really prepares you for the wonder and awe of seeing your newborn’s face. It is a truly holy moment—an experience that is as unforgettable with your first child as it is with your fourth.
We also learned that every child is different. The books did not tell us everything we needed to know, so a great deal of “on the job training” occurred! The responsibility can be overwhelming, and the thousands of decisions you must make can be daunting. These choices range from the serious and eternal to the silly and crazy … like is the Valentine box you made at midnight going to embarrass them at preschool and scar them socially for the rest of their lives!?
Because we have kids and work with kids, we understand the huge implications for children when they have the opportunity to develop their gifts and talents. Scott and I owe some of who we are today to the amazing coaches and teachers who helped us to develop into the people God created us to be. They came alongside our parents and taught us countless life lessons, challenging us to be more than we ever thought was possible. Out of those experiences came the dream for Sonshine Academy.
Sonshine has never been “just a job” for us. It is a passion and a purpose and a calling. We want Sonshine Academy to be a special place—filled with fun, laughter, excitement, and awe—a place full of love! Our “theme” and name are inspired by Matthew 5:16, which says, “let your light shine before men so that they may see goodness in your acts and give praise to your heavenly Father.”
From the very beginning, our mission was and is to provide quality instruction in gymnastics, dance, cheer, and related physical activities in a fun, safe, wholesome environment. We believe children can experience their “specialness” and “uniqueness” as creations of God by learning athletic and artistic skills in a positive, encouraging environment.
We support and love Sonshine parents, as our own coaches once supported and loved our parents. Together, we strive to foster traits such as respect, confidence, discipline, perseverance, and sportsmanship in the children who walk through our doors. We develop every child’s “ability to shine.” Much love, grace, and prayers on this journey of parenthood! Happy Valentine’s Day!
Elsie Rose and Scott Wright