I remember the first time I held you. I was crying uncontrollably as I witnessed the miracle of your birth. I was impressed by the amount of hair you had and so was your Dad.
When he held you, I fell in love with him a thousand times over. Your arrival into this world changed all of our lives in a way that can only be described as transformative.
In a blink of an eye, you gave me purpose. I won’t lie the first few years weren’t easy by any means, but they were definitely worth it.
With you in my life, I knew I could do anything. You, my dear, gave me the confidence. You, my sweet daughter, motivate me to be the best person I can be.
I remember the first time I left you at the sitter’s house so I could go back to work. I cried and cried. I felt so many emotions that day.
With each day it got easier for both of us.
I’ve dropped you off at so many schools leading up to this point. I confess I didn’t think it would be that hard for me to drop you off at Kindergarten this year. You are so strong, personable and independent. But clearly, the tears coming out of my eyes while I write this letter tell me otherwise.
I remember the first time you gave up that pacifier you were so addicted to. Let’s not forget the time you had a blow out diaper all over your nervous mom’s face or the first time you scored your first soccer goal.
As I look at you now, you are physically no longer my baby, but rather a girl. A girl with a spunky attitude, big beautiful eyes and a smile that could light up a room. A girl who takes care of her baby brother with so much pride and love.
A child that asked me to stop the cart at the store, so she could pick up a box that fell off a shelf to hand to the employee.
“I wanted to help out.” You told me.
Your caring heart is what impresses me the most. I will never forget the day I struggled emotionally with your newborn baby brother. It was a long day. I was frustrated, tired and come to find out later – depressed. I never wanted to cry in front of you, but I did.
Your sweet soul came to me, rubbed my back and simply said, “Don’t cry, mom. Everything is going to be okay!”
You know what. You were right. Everything turned out okay.
That caring heart you have beating inside your chest will make an impact on others this school year. Whether it’s towards your teacher, classmates or a volunteer, you will make a difference in a positive way.
As we were driving today, I told you about my days in Kindergarten and how much I loved my teacher. You were so surprised that I could still remember my teacher’s name. Of course I did because Kindergarten was so much fun!
I know you will have the same experience and I am so happy that you get to live this life that will bring you so much joy.
I would be naive to think that every day will be joyous and wonderful as I know there will be hard days for you.
There will be days when you feel like nothing goes your way.
Days where kids will be mean to you.
Days where you might be the one making bad choices.
Times when learning is unfamiliar and challenging.
These are the moments we both will learn from.
I want Kindergarten to be fun for you. Life is too short to not have fun. Soak up all the fun you can now before you find yourself filling out college applications. Ask your big brother, the real world is coming fast and furious for him and us…
You said to me this morning, “Mom, you know I won’t stay this little forever right? I know you want me to stay little, but I want to be eleven already!”
Baby girl, let’s take this year one day at a time. We can’t rush time any faster than it’s already gone by. My heart can’t take it.
I blinked and now we are getting your backpack and lunchbox ready. How did that happen?
When I graduated high school, your grandparents gave me Le Ann Womack’s CD that included the song, “I Hope You Dance.” I read over each word and they had so much meaning no matter my age.
I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance
I know these words may not quite make sense yet, so I will simplify it for you.
I hope you dance no matter your age or where you are. (And I do not mean you should literally dance when your teachers have asked you several times to be quiet during a lesson. Always follow directions!)
What I mean is I hope you never lose your sense of wonder. Always be excited and open to learn new things and meet new people who may not be exactly like you and I. Above all, always choose kindness.
I can’t wait to see what is in store for you this school year. Instead of feeling sorry for myself because I have to let you go I am thinking a different way.
I am honored I get to share your sense of wonder with others as amazing as you are.
Now, hurry up and get home and tell me all about your first day! I will be anxiously awaiting!
Your Proud Momma (Not ready to be called “Mom” quite yet)