Hallie has had a couple “first days of school” already in her short career of school, but this is the “real” first day of school. She started all-day kindergarten today. She’s used to the backpack, first day pictures, but today had something a little different than in the past…she carried a lunch bag to school today. She eagerly went to sleep last night and woke up all smiles this morning. She would’ve showed up an hour early if I would’ve let her! She told me just a week ago that she was a little nervous because she doesn’t know her math very well. “I know that 1+1=2, and 2+2=4, and 4+4=8, and 1+4=5, but I don’t know all of them.” Little does she know, her math “skills” are adequate for kindergarten and her reading is above and beyond. I think she’ll do just fine!
I have never been more excited for you than I was today. You have been looking forward to this day for so long and have talked so much about it, it’s a little hard to believe it came so quickly, but you started kindergarten today.
When you started preschool last year, you kept talking about when you would go to kindergarten. I was so confused as to why you so badly wanted to be in kindergarten. During a conversation together, I got my answer: you wanted to eat lunch at school. It had nothing to do with the class and everything to do with lunch. Just six weeks ago, I asked you a similar question, “What are you most excited about kindergarten?” Your reply, “Taking my lunch and eating it at school”. I sure hope your lunch lives up to it’s hype today!!
To say you were more than ready is an understatement. I realized last year in your preschool class we should’ve enrolled you in kindergarten last year, but that would’ve made you that youngest in the class and something inside of me needed you for one more year by my side. And boy am I glad I did.
I’m not sure what I’m going to do without you during the day. You are such a good little helper and great big sister. You play so well with Hunter and he already misses you like crazy, he keeps asking when you’re coming home. You gave him a hug before leaving this morning and you whispered in his ear, “I’m going to school now, don’t be sad, I’ll be home after nap time.” A little part of my heart ached to think you would be spending so much time at school and so little time with your little brother who adores you, but I knew it had to come to an end eventually!
We had a special day yesterday with all sorts of fun activities including the tradition of tie dying shirts, some swimming and you picked out your outfit. This morning dad made you the most delicious Mickey Mouse pancakes and we both went to drop you off. With a backpack full of school supplies, you walked down the sidewalk with your lunch bag in hand and you suddenly looked so much older.
Just a week ago as we were driving home from Idaho, I sat behind the wheel and I looked back at you in the rear view mirror as you enjoyed the Toy Story 3 movie on the DVD player and the thought came to me, “Have I taught you well enough?” Not necessarily educationally, because you have that covered, but in every other facet of life. Up until now, I have closely monitored your circle of influence and it has been a pretty small circle. I was comfortable with the small circle! But now you’re away from me more than you’re with me and I just hope I’ve taught you well.
I want you to be strong and stand up for yourself. I want you to include everyone who wants to play. I want you to talk nice about everyone. I want you to be comfortable talking with me about hard things. I want you to be honest all the time. I want you to love learning. I want you to be confident. I want you to know it’s okay to not be perfect at everything and to make mistakes. I want you to try new things. I want you to know I love you more than anything and you have a Heavenly Father who knows you and thinks you are very special.
I hope I have taught you these things. I’ve had five years and that’s not very much time. Luckily, you still come home every single day to my loving arms. And I’ll continue to teach and I’ll learn how to listen better and I’m sure in the process you’ll be the one teaching me. It’s an exciting time and I know you are ready. I love you.