First Day of School

8 09 2009

Dear Sunshine Daughter,

You started school today and you were very happy.  Ridiculously, over-the-top, love-it-like-chocolate, happy.   I want you always feel that happiness when you think about school.    Some years will be hard.   People will tease you (hell, your brothers will tease you!).   But I know the excitement you felt getting into your uniform, getting your backpack & lunch ready gave you a great head start for all the years of school you have before you.   First day of school

Your teacher and co-teacher will be wonderful, of that I have no doubt.   I know you make them laugh, smile, and sometimes shake their heads with the crazy wonderfulness that is you.  I’ve had four years of it.     They will hold a very special place in your heart.    You will have a special place in their heart too. 

You are the baby of our family.   I am the oldest of my family.  Sometimes, because of that, we clash.    Your father and brothers let you “get away” with many things.   I let things slide with you.   As the youngest, you tend to exploit the…advantages your birth order has brought.   Hey, I understand.  Life can be hard.  Brothers can be mean.  A girl has to do what a girl has to do.  I get it.   Despite this and general parent/child clashes, I have  loved every moment of my time home with you. 

I must tell you however, today was a very difficult day for me.   I was not happy.  I knew it would be hard, but I was not and actually as the second day approaches, am still not, prepared for your absence.  I have spent the last seven years feeding, cleaning, fetching, caring, reading, cuddling, disciplining, and who knows what else for you and your brothers.  Some days, it was annoying and hard as hell.   Sometimes I resented it.   Most of the time, I just moved onward, in a kid induced, sleep deprived haze. 

When I got home today,  though it was just me.  I could eat breakfast without a dissertation on Dora versus Deigo.  I could go to the bathroom without awkward questions to answer.   I could listen to NPR without hearing how you HATE talking–despite doing it all the time.   I could do anything I wanted.  It was just me.   Just. Me. Alone.

“They” tell you time goes fast and one day you’ll be grown up.    “They” tell you that one day, you’ll miss all this stuff.  Struggling through babydom, toddlerville, and THREE hell, I didn’t believe “them”.    I believe them now.   Now my kids are school age and I am home wondering what to do, how not to feel useless without you here.  I cried…most of the day.

Leaving you at school was one of the hardest things I have done in my seven years of parenting.   Every inch of me wanted to say, “No. No, I don’t think she’ll be staying today…this year.”   But, as you  hugged me goodbye & walked to your name labeled spot on the rug–still smiling–I wiped my tears away, gave you another wave, and left you at school for your first day.   I was not ready.   You?  You were ready. 

Your first day?   “AWESOME!”    You were fine.  I told you, it was me that wasn’t ready to let you go.  Other details of your first day?  You finished your lunch before everyone else, even though no one could start till everyone was sitting down.  The only math you know is 1+1 = 2.  You can’t wait to go back for more school.  

Thank you Sunshine Daughter for teaching me for the past four years.     Although I still don’t want to let you go tomorrow, I will.   Just remember:  You are a trooper.   You are a princess.  You are pink on the outside, but a tough cookie on the inside.  You can do whatever you want in life–army recruiter, astronaut, mom, or all three!   No matter what, breathing gets you through. 

Love,

Mom

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4 responses

8 09 2009
Kristina

Oh, I so feel you. 😦

My daughter started full day pre-k (our K cutoff is sept 1 and she turns five in oct), and I cried for two days BEFORE she started school. Okay the day off, but definitely felt off and weird. I’ve been working a bit more, so it really hasn’t hit me yet how different it is to not have her here, but later this month, it will. I’m planning to fill the time doing all the things I couldn’t do with children underfoot. Like painting bedrooms, scraping and painting windows/doors, and staining decks… and peeing/showering alone. 😉

good luck. Hope it gets easier. 🙂

kristina (yarnsticks)

9 09 2009
Mandy

Big hug! Great, now I’m crying…

9 09 2009
10 10 2009
Andi @udandi

what a delightful letter!

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