My Sweet Daughter,
What a big girl you’ve become! I remember you trying to hold my fingers tightly when you took those uncertain first steps. Today, you insist on doing everything by yourself. Good for you! Mommy wants to tell you that, in just a few days, you’ll have to be doing a lot more by yourself. You’ll have to make your own friends, spell out your name by yourself, and tie your own laces when they become undone. You’ll learn to put on your own mittens, hang up your jacket, and get your own lunch from the class bin. It won’t be where Mom says it is; you’ll have to recognize your name on the pink lunchbox we chose together.
My beautiful princess, what an exciting time for you it’ll be! You’ll go on great adventures with your class whether they’ll be in the pages of a great book or picking apples at the orchard or even visiting a polar bear at the zoo. You’ll learn to sound out letters and read words. I can’t wait for you to read me a book soon one day. With these new hellos in your life, they’ll also be a few goodbyes.
When you eat your breakfast with Daddy in the morning, you’ll have to leave with him, too. It will be a goodbye to our mornings together. Mommy will close the door behind you both and continue to sit alone at the kitchen table, looking at your empty chair. She’ll wonder how the time went by so quickly. It used to be the both of us eating our cereals together and then Mommy answering a ton of your curious questions; now, Mommy will be the one with the questions. I’ll wonder how your day was, and where you ate your lunch. Did you make a friend? Are you happy?
You see, my sweet girl, this is your leap into the world. It’s your “hello” to the morning sunshine and classroom teacher. But for Mommy, it’s a “goodbye” to your younger years and a “goodbye” to being your world.
You used to be Mommy’s permanent lunch date, her shopping partner, and her backseat jukebox that would continuously play. Now, when Mommy goes out to run errands in the daytime, she’ll glimpse back at the empty booster seat in her rearview mirror. She’ll think about where the years went, and she’ll remember your questions, as well as your banter. And she’ll miss that.
But don’t you worry a thing, my love. Mommy’s a big girl, too! On your first day, we’ll hold hands and walk up to your class together. When your teacher opens her brightly colored door, she’ll greet you with a smile and a “Hello Friends!,” and that’s when you give Mommy a tight hug. And Mommy will hug you right back, fighting back her tears. When Mommy whispers “Goodbye,” you’ll know it’s time to let go.
As you march into that classroom with nervous excitement, Mommy will stand back and watch, just as I did when you began to walk. I’ll let you find your pace but will be ready to catch you, if you fall.