September 2, 2014
Things I Want To Say To You On The First Day of First Grade
Posted by Steph
We sit at the table as you quietly eat your breakfast. Your sister is still asleep, giving us these special moments of calm. You woke up early, anxious about life: new bus, new school, new class, new friends. The butterflies got the best of you, disrupting your sweet dreams. So before tip-toeing down to breakfast, we laid side by side in silence, our presence each other's comfort.
What are the right words to say to calm your precious heart?
Downstairs in the kitchen, you chew thoughtfully on a muffin as I work on a bowl of cereal. We talk about your new book bag, we pack your lunch, and you put on your shoes. The butterflies have flittered away, leaving in their place a sense of excitement and adventure. For this I am grateful. Yet, I know so much is happening in your mind. As your mom, there are so many things I could say, things I should say.
But where to begin?
It's okay to be afraid.
It's okay to be excited.
You are awesome. And wonderful. Just be yourself, and it will be impossible for people not to love you.
There will be people who won't love you. Heck, there will be people who don't even remotely like you. And that's okay. Different strokes for different folks, love.
The best way to make friends is to be a friend.
I know you are shy, and the thought of taking the initiative to introduce yourself is a daunting task. But do it. Because for every ounce of fear you have about talking to someone new, there is someone standing right next to you feeling the same way. Some people are just waiting to be talked to and noticed.
Your teacher cares about you.
It's okay to mess up.
I think about you all day - and there is not a moment of your day that I'm not wondering what wonderful things you are doing at school.
Be the kind of friend you want others to be to you.
Everyone fits in somewhere.
Don't be afraid to try - even if you fail.
Wash your hands.
Raise your hand to answer questions - even if it turns out your wrong. That's part of learning.
One of the dearest friends I have today I met in first grade.
There may come a point where another kid is mean to you. And while that's not okay, you don't have to let it define you. Deep down, the people who hurt others are hurting. Those are the people who are still learning how to love and need our love the most.
School libraries are better than book stores.
There will be parts of the school day you love. There will be other parts you struggle with. But you have to face them all the same. Some day you'll understand the importance of a well-rounded education.
Embrace art class and music class.
You don't have to be good at everything. But you do have to give everything all you've got.
These are the days you'll remember fondly when you are a grown up. Cherish them.
She scoops her arms through the straps of her backpack, and with little sister in tow we head to the bus stop. The smile doesn't leave your face, and my heart bursts with so many words, thoughts and feelings I want to share. But time is not my friend, and the bus rounds the corner.
I kneel down and pull you close.
"You'll be great. Have fun. I love you."
And with a quick kiss on the cheek, you're on the bus before I can wave good-bye.
Dream big, love.