Leaving behind the home where your children said their first words or learned to ride a bike is difficult for any parent. But for Andrea and David Byrne, that wasn’t the hardest part about their recent move.
David and Andrea along with their daughters, Lillian (age 7) and Cora (age 3), moved out of their first family home in 2018. Despite the emotional toll of leaving the home where so many memories occurred, the family says leaving the teachers and staff at the girls’ preschool, Primrose School of Dunwoody, was the most difficult part. For the Byrnes, Primrose School of Dunwoody was more than a school. From helping Cora through an Asthma attack to teaching strong-willed Lillian how to read, the staff at the school was right alongside David and Andrea during some of the most crucial moments of their children’s first years.
“When someone is in your children’s lives for six years, they become family,” said Andrea. “Primrose became our village.”
When it came time for the move, David and Andrea went to the school to express their gratitude – and share a special video that was six years in the making. The video is a montage of every piece of artwork Lillian brought home from school since she started at Primrose School of Dunwoody at 2 months old. In total, there are more than 2,200 creations featured.
“The video was our way of saying thank you to the teachers,” David said. “Teaching can sometimes feel like a thankless job, but when they saw how each little scribble of artwork amassed and turned into thousands, they could see the true impact that they’ve had in our daughter’s life.”
The Byrnes originally created the video as a way to remember their daughter’s artwork. By the time Lillian was a toddler, David and Andrea realized they needed a way to preserve her creations, and there was only so much room on the refrigerator door! They started saving all of the artwork in a drawer and taking time every few months to photograph each masterpiece once the drawer became too full. The process helped ease the burden of picking and choosing which pieces to keep. The decision to turn the photos into a video became clear once the Byrnes realized they would end up with a two-hour slide show.
“We started out by taking 100 pictures at a time, but there was just so much artwork that we ended up photographing it in increments of 300. We’ve spent a lot of hours with me standing on a ladder with a camera and Andrea laying out each piece of artwork like an assembly line,” David said.
When David and Andrea were searching for a new home, keeping their Primrose “village” was a top priority. They told their realtor that their daughters had to remain with Lynn and Larry Manning, the Franchise Owners of Primrose School of Dunwoody. Much to their delight, Cora now attends the Mannings’ Primrose School of Roswell North location, and Lillian, now an elementary school student, participates in the after-school Explorer Program.
As the Byrnes get to know their new family at Primrose School of Roswell North, they’re looking forward to more memories made as Cora grows closer to her teachers. In fact, David and Andrea have already started photographing Cora’s artwork, and they’re looking forward to sharing it with her Primrose teachers in 2020 when she heads to elementary school.