Thursday, August 27, 2015

The First Day of Kindergarten

My Dear Ryan,

As I write this you are spending your first day in Kindergarten. You have probably eaten lunch by now. Hopefully you had fun at recess, and are enjoying meeting new friends. I hope its the BEST day ever!!

You were so excited this morning. So. Excited. It made me think back to your first days of Preschool. I remember you sobbing every day for at least a week either when I dropped you off, or often, after I left. You always seemed to keep it together for me, but then once I was gone you just missed me too much and the tears started flowing. Twice I got a call because you were so upset the teacher was worried I would have to come get you. It never got to that point. You always pulled your brave face out about 1 minute before I would pull up to the school and I'd get a call that said, "He's fine now."

But this morning was so different. You were eager and excited to get there. When Daddy, Zachary, Connor, and I walked you up to the front door you were ready to line up without even giving us a hug goodbye. But then the administrator who was about to take your hand said, "What about a hug for Mom and Dad?" Then of course you gave your signature "monkey hugs" and you were off. You headed into school with the confidence and swagger of a kid who'd been doing this forever. As I yelled, "Have a great day! I love you!" you tossed a nonchalant wave my way.

I'm not gonna lie...the ease with which you headed off today stung just a little bit. But mostly, I was just so, so proud of you. I know you're going to have a great day. But I know you are confident that I'll be there at the end of the day to hear all about your day. And I know you're excited for that, and for all that will happen in between drop off and pick up.

So many moms talk about how sad they are on this day. And I suppose if I let myself linger too long on the idea that you will now spend the majority of your days in the presence of an adult who is not me then I get a little sad. But then I remind myself that many parents spend the majority of their days away from their children who are in daycare, from the time they are tiny babies and I am immensely grateful for the past 5 and a half years during which I have been home with you almost every single day.

And yes, if I stop to think about how tiny you were, and how big you are now, and how there are so many moments lost in between that I don't remember, then I get a little sad. I can no longer hear your "baby voice" in my head. I don't remember all the cute words you said incorrectly. Sometimes I wish I could just make time freeze. But I can't. And so, I look at you, and at the beautiful person you are becoming and I rejoice.

Jumping for JOY! 
This morning I sent you off with excitement and pride knowing that you're ready. You are kind. You are brave. You are curious. You are eager. You will do fantastic in Kindergarten. And I am so proud that Daddy and I have somehow managed to help you develop into that beautiful little boy who is so very ready. Daddy and I didn't (and still don't) know what we were doing all the time as parents. We've stumbled and made mistakes. We've yelled too much at times. We've unfairly expected too much of you at times because you're the oldest. We'll no doubt continue to make mistakes from time to time. But looking back, I know each of your days was filled with love. There were always many "I love yous" exchanged, so many hugs and snuggles. Lots of books have been read, games played, matches wrestled, and tickles fought. And at the end of every day you have fallen asleep safe, secure, and confident that you are loved because you're you. And though we haven't done everything right, we've done that right.

So, today I watched you head into elementary school for the first time and I stood in awe of this amazing little person that Daddy and I created and have helped shape into a wonderful boy. I know you're not perfect. I know you'll make mistakes. But I know you're awesome. And today, I'm letting myself take a little credit for that. I am reveling in the fact that WE MADE IT! We made it to Kindergarten with your sense of self not only in tact but strong. I can't wait to see what the future holds for you, sweet boy. I'm so fortunate to have a front seat for what will no doubt be a fantastic show.

Here's to many more firsts!

Love always,


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