Back to school is just around the corner.
Target aisles are filled with new back packs and pencil holders. As a former teacher, the sight of school supplies and name tags thrills me. I haven’t had my own classroom for three years, and I STILL get giddy when I see a fresh pack of Crayolas. Although we try to hang on to summer as long as possible, back to school season brings eagerness and anticipation of the unknown. It brings us back to routine.
But this year brings a whole new element.
I am sending my oldest off to kindergarten. Just typing that fills me with emotion. I have been on the other side of this. I have watched kids (and parents) have the first day jitters. I have been the one telling mom “They will be FINE. I promise.” And here I am on the receiving side of those words and I’m attempting to convince myself of them.
In an effort to compose my thoughts and feelings, I sat down and wrote a letter to my kindergartener.
The day is finally here. You are now a kindergartener! To you this has felt like a day out of reach, not coming soon enough. To me, it feels all too soon. For the past few weeks you have stated to me multiple times “Mom, I am SO excited for kindergarten.” I usually respond with an energetic “Me too!” carefully hiding the heartstrings of mine that are being pulled so tightly.
As my oldest, I have constantly been anticipating the next milestone. Your first giggle filled me with delight and with those little wobbly first steps I was there, coaching and cheering you on. One by one, you moved on to the next milestone and after each one I was eagerly waiting for the next. And now here we are. Our next big milestone involves sending you off to your first day of school.
I am not sure how exactly I will feel as I watch you wander into your classroom, but I do know how much you will be filling my mind throughout the day. Are you making friends? Are you eating your lunch? Are you missing us at home?
I am feeling all the new mom nerves as if I am just taking my newborn baby home from the hospital except this time, instead of having you in my own arms, I am sending you off into someone else’s. Even though there are nerves, I have no doubt you will thrive. You have never been a leg clinger, but always anxious to start new relationships. Your carefree spirit will help you adapt to school. Your personality will win you new friends in no time.
Kindergarten starts the beginning of a long journey. For the next 13 years I will be sending you off to your first day of school. (And yes- I will take your picture EVERY year, so bear with me.) Little by little, you will grow. Your friends will become significant companions to you. School will feel like a second home. Mom and Dad will become less and less cool. (I know- it is hard to believe.)
There will be tough days. Days you won’t want to leave us at home. Days your friend won’t sit by you at lunch. Days you will feel left out. As your mama, I want to protect you from all those things, but I understand it is important for you to experience the ups and downs.
Through all of these experiences remember this: Your dad and I will be here for you. No matter what you think or do or become, we are in your court. We will be your biggest supporters in life and it is my prayer you always feel that.
I am so proud of you!
All my love,