To my daughter the night before kindergarten


To my daughter on the night before Kindergarten:

As I sit here in my thoughts—your whole existence floods my mind. The night you were born, your first little smile, first steps, first birthday, all of your firsts. How your smile can brighten anyone’s day; your curiosity and eagerness to learn. How you often get frustrated when learning something new but when you get the hang of it, the look on your face is priceless!

I honestly can’t believe that five years have flown by so fast.

You are so many things, you love hard, you are brave, and so very strong. I often expect more of you than I should and have to remember that you are still so small even though your long legs hang off my lap. I pray that you keep your sense of wonder and never lose that little twinkle in your eyes. It’s true what they say, the days are long, but the years are so short. I’d be lying if I said I’m ready for you to grow up—I’d keep you little forever if I could. But I’d also be lying if I said I don’t want to see the person you are meant to become! One day (a long time from now) everything you’ve ever worked for, dreamed for, prayed for will come into existence, and I am so blessed that I get to sit front row for all of it.

Emma with white dress and easter egg basket

I know you might be a little scared and nervous about starting kindergarten so here are a few things that I’ve learned that might help you too!

 Be yourself—there is no one like you. Don’t try and be someone else because God made
you exactly who you are supposed to be!

 It’s ok to be sad—sometimes we just need to cry and that’s ok. Emotions are healthy.

 Make at least one new friend—having lots of friends is fun but is sometimes exhausting.
When you find that ONE friend who is with you through thick and thin…that’s when the
real fun begins.

 Mind your manners—always say please and thank you. When you show kindness and
respect it makes others want to show the same courtesy to you.

 It’s ok to not be perfect. No one has it all together all the time. There was only one
perfect person and He died for us so that we didn’t have to bear that burden.

 Be sweet—this is something my mama often still tells me and has a broader meaning
than actually “being sweet.” It means to mind your manners, show respect, kindness,
humility and generosity.

 Remember those who feel left out. Go sit by the person who doesn’t have a friend. The
person who seems sad and might need a smile or a hug. The one who got picked last or
didn’t get picked at all. The one who doesn’t have a friend to play with. You might be
the only Jesus they ever see—so be His hands and feet.

 Finally, it’s ok to have a bad day—they are necessary. When you have a bad day, I
promise to always be available for whatever your needs might be. If you need some
time alone, a hug, to lay on the couch and watch your favorite show, for me to hold you
in my arms, or take you for ice cream…whatever it is, I will try my best to help you
through it. I can’t promise to fix it, but I can promise to make the hard days a little easier
for you.

Never forget my sweet that you are made in HIS image and that you are always cherished more than you can ever imagine. Keep smiling and laughing and being the sweetest you there ever was. You are destined for great things—Your name means “whole delight” and that’s exactly what you are, a whole delight! Now chin up, look up, and go conquer Kindergarten! I carry your heart; I carry it in my heart.

I love you more than tongue can tell,


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Leah is a small town girl from rural west Alabama. Married to a college football coach, she has lived in Alabama, Chattanooga, TN and now Richmond. After working several years with college students/student-athletes, she now mostly stays home with their one year old daughter, Emma. Somehow she still manages to devote a few hours a week to working with student-athletes at a local university, sings with the praise and worship group at church, and also teaches spin classes. When she's not busy cheering at football games, working, or folding the seemingly never ending pile of laundry, Leah enjoys date nights with her husband, Moscow mules, being in the kitchen, reading, and listening to true crime podcasts.