Well, the time has come- I am “officially” saying goodbye today. And I will say goodbye in typical Lebresco style- from the hip and from my heart… (and a little rambly at that)
Nearly 7 years ago when I started at Graco Children’s Products, I was a twenty-something, passionate, junior marketer full of ideas and the desire to learn. On top of that, I was a newlywed with no plans for babies in the near future. In my first few months, this combination made it clear that not only did I have a lot to learn as a professional, but I had a lot to learn about all this “baby stuff.” Now, as I depart, I’m a thirty-something, accomplished and confident marketer with 2 beautiful children, a head still full of ideas and a heart still full of passion.
The fact is, I grew up at Graco. Yes, it was only 7 years but I can tell you the moment it happened- February 7th, 2005 at 2:57am – the moment my son, my first child, was born. 19 months later, when my daughter arrived, my shifting perspectives on life and work at Graco, were cemented.
Years ago, when I sat at my desk and had my mail delivered in a stroller, I thought that was pretty cool. And the year I incorporated one of our baby swings into my Halloween costume, I thought that was fun too. And of course the letters that would come across my desk from grateful parents who believed our car seats helped save their child’s life were incredibly moving.
But, it wasn’t until I strapped my own 7 pound baby boy into a Graco SnugRide that I GOT the significance of my job. With each product I used that year and then the year after that, my pride as a Graco employee grew. These products played such an important role in my life as a mom and they’ll forever be a part of the memories I have as I look back. I used to joke to Melissa that I was a “lifer.” “They should just give me my parking spot now because I plan to be here for the next 30 years,” I would joke. Well that is not to be. Today is my last day as a Graco employee. See, my husband and I chose to stay here in Exton as many of my friends (along with my kids’ playmates )packed up and headed south last month. Leaving friends, family and our precious cul-de-sac life would have been too jarring for my “lifer” way of thinking. Our roots are deep- deeper then I ever realized until faced with the choice to move.
While choosing to leave Graco was tougher then I expected, I truly believe I am privileged to have at least worked here. I learned so much- some of which is still working itself out. I have made some of the best friends I will ever know. And, to work for a company full of caring, wonderful and generous people working toward a common goal of making life a little easier for new parents was an honor. And it was wonderful to become one of those new parents while working here – a beautiful synchronicity for my life.
And probably the best part of all of that was that I got to share that synchronicity here on this blog with all of you. Thank you for listening, engaging and being real with me here over the last 18 months- it has meant more to me then you’ll ever know.
Of course, as you know, it’s not like I’m the only one blogging here. This blog is like a little “village” (as my son calls the neighborhood where we live)- it’s a collection of Graco people and perspectives. It’s funny- I’ve come to feel like this blog is my 3rd baby. And, as they say, it “takes a village to raise a child” so I happily turn the blog over today to the “village” here at Graco, led by the new lead blogger, Kelly Voelker.
And though I may not work here anymore, every day when I strap my kids safely in their car seats, Graco will still mean the world to me.
Thanks for everything!