Wednesday, August 26, 2015

To Lana on her first day of First Grade

Dearest Lana Jean,

Well, guess what, Sweet Girl? You made it! You got through summer and school days are here again. I know you think nothing could possibly beat the wonderful time you had in kindergarten last year, but I promise you, first grade will be it's very own special kind of adventure. You will come to love your new teacher, make new friends, gain new responsibilities, and take on new challenges.

As excited as you are, the questions you've been asking make me know you're a bit nervous too. Yes, there will be more reading. There will ALWAYS be more reading. Yes there will be more math. There will ALWAYS be more math. This year's reading and math will be tougher than last year's, and just like you worked and practiced in kindergarten, you will work and practice in first grade. There will ALWAYS be more work and more practice.

I want so many things for you dear Lana. I want you to have nice friends to sit with at lunch. I want to never forget to send you with a lunch. I want you to take risks and try new things. I want you to love your teacher and everything you're learning. I want you to keep trying on the days you think you don't love it anymore. I want you to be willing to try, be willing to take a chance, and be okay with failing if it doesn't work out. I want you to think critically and creatively, act kindly and respectfully, and love purely and fiercely. In short, I want you to keep on doing what you've always been doing. You are fearfully and wonderfully made and I'm so stinkin' proud of you my heart could explode.

You have so much to share with those in your class. They need your sweet encouragement and contagious enthusiasm. They need to hear your belly laughs on the playground. They need to see you reaching out to the shy girl. And they need to teach and share with you too. (Maybe you could learn from one of them how to tie your shoes, because Daddy and I completely dropped the ball on that little life lesson.) Please, continue to recognize the special and unique in others, just like we want them to see the same in you.

This morning, you were dressed and ready by 6:15. I love that you spent so much time planning your perfect first day outfit and accessories. You dutifully packed your lunch and paper work-filled folder in your Minnie Mouse backpack. Prayers were prayed and pictures were taken. Last year's newly-created tradition of First Day of School Donuts was (of course) followed and then Baby Sister and I gave you hugs and kisses and sent you on your way. I was a bit surprised when, at the playground gate, your ran back to me, insisting on one more kiss and one more hug. Oh Dear Girl, I will ALWAYS give you one more kiss and hug.

Have a great day, and don't forget to be awesome!

Love you,