To my daughter on the night before her first day of Kindergarten,
I can’t believe this day is here. My youngest, about to start elementary school! It’s been some time since we said goodbye to bottles and diapers and onesies in our house, but this day marks a whole new chapter for our family.
While I’m looking forward to these next two years when you and your sister are in the same school, on the same schedule, I find myself having a hard time saying goodbye to the whimsical days of preschool where you were delighted by all the play and discovering new things.
I know you’re ready for Kindergarten, maybe more than your sister. Simply because I now know what you needed to prepare. I’m excited for you to make your “own” friends instead of siblings of your sister’s friends and carve out a unique path for yourself at our sweet neighborhood public school.
I’m grateful to have the opportunity to send you into the classroom, even though you will be wearing a mask. Frankly, that is normal for you now. It’s more jarring to me and the other adults. You’ll benefit from being around your classmates and teachers.
Kindergarten is such a magical year where kids blossom and learn lots of new skills fast. It also can be hard getting used to long days of learning and the rigors of being in a class with a few dozen friends. Don’t be surprised if you come home and let it all out with a good cry or an uncharacteristic nap.
More than anything, daughter, I’m grateful to be here to watch you take this step. When I was diagnosed with cancer just about three years ago, I wished to be able to be present and healthy for these milestones. Seeing you grow is now more sweet than bitter. I’m letting myself soak in the moments without rushing to the next or dwelling on the time that has passed.
So, sweet girl, when you wake up, I’ll be there to help you put on the outfit we picked out especially for today, and, yes, you’ll have to pose for a few too many pictures on the front lawn. And you may catch me getting a little misty-eyed as I think about all the wonderful things in store for you. I promise I’ll be there when you get home to give you a big hug, yummy snack, and listen with joy to all of your adventures.