Dear sweet child,
You did it! Your first year of school ended today and you made it through the year better than I could have imagined. I don’t think it’s really hit either of us that it’s over. These last few weeks have been a whirl of birthday parties and last soccer practices and games and end of school activities. This entire year went by fast. Faster than any year I’ve ever experienced.
I tried to soak it all in. I tried to soak you in every chance I could. I see the differences in your first day and last day pictures. Just as you learned more and more pieces that quickly connected and exploded into a huge burst of knowledge, you also grew in little pieces and these pictures burst with the evidence that you’re so much bigger and look so much more grown up now.
I keep trying to think back to each day, each event, each new experience you had. I want them to stay in my mind forever, but I know some will fade as the school years take over.
Like on your first day. We were both scared, but you were so brave. I held back my tears as you walked right in and sat down. I knew you would be okay, but my heart still ached having to walk away from you. You didn’t know, but I peeked back in a little while later. You were sitting in your seat, smiling and raising your hand. I knew you were going to do great… and you did.
I watched you walk into the school each day after I dropped you off. I drove slow and watched through the side mirror. I thought you looked so small going into that big building, knowing each year you’ll look just a little bigger. I want to tuck that image into a special place to always remember.
I learned how to talk with you about your first crush. It was the first time going through that for both of us, but we figured it out. You came home exhausted some days and just wanted me to hold you. A few times I held you when cried because you were just a little boy trying to figure out a big world…and that’s hard. I hope you know I’ll always hold you, no matter how big you are.
I helped out in your class each week. I loved watching you talk to your friends. I loved watching your teacher explain new things. I loved seeing how you and all the kids in your room learned so much through the year. I loved being able to eat lunch with you sometimes and give you little hugs. I loved seeing the joy in your face when you saw me walk in.
I waited for you. Each day I waited in the pick up line for you to come out. I got there early so I’d be the one waiting and not you. I loved watching you walk out, knowing I’d finally get a little piece of your day. I want you to always know I’ll be there to pick you up. Not just from school, but also if you fail, or if you need someone to talk to, or if you find yourself in a bad situation. I’ll always, always be there.
You had glow dances and class parties and picnics and your first field trip and first field day. I’m so thankful I could be there for most of it. I hope you’ll still want me to come as you get older. I know one day you won’t and that’s ok too, I’ll still love you.
You’ve been saying you’re a first grader now. It’s hard for me to believe, but it’s true. I hope no matter the grade you’re in, you always, always, always know how much you’re loved.