A Letter to Our Daughter on Her First Day of Kindergarten

Fairfield County Family Photo Shoot | Photo by Erica Carryl - Vine & Branch Photography | Taste As You Go

Photo: Erica Carryl | Vine & Branch Photography

Five years... Six months... and one day after she arrived in this world, it's here. Our sweet girl's first day of kindergarten.

We never imagined we'd be sending her off to school in the middle of a pandemic. That we'd have to account for face masks and mask lanyards when buying school supplies. That we wouldn't get to walk her to her classroom on her first day.

Like most parents, we're anxious about how the school year is going to go. And hiding our anxiety from our very observant children has been hard.

To help stay focused on what an important milestone this is for her as a student and for us as parents... I thought I'd recognize the day with an open letter to our girl:

Dear Bunny,

I know the past six months have been tough for you. Especially with your little brother by your side every second of the day. But today, things are going to brighten up a bit for you. Today is the day we've all been counting down to. 

Today is your first day of kindergarten.

When you were born, I was fortunate enough to stay at home with you for nearly 1.5 years. I got to marvel at you as you learned how to hold your head up, how to roll over onto your back, how to pull up and stand on your own, how to walk... And when it came time for me to go back to work full-time, I tried to hide how much it gutted me to drop you off at daycare. 

But then I saw how much it suited you. You were learning so much in the classroom. You were making friends and learning how to play with others. Eventually, as you became more comfortable with your teachers and your classmates... you learned how to give me the stinkeye when I came to pick you up at the end of the day because you didn't want to go home.

You've been thirsty for knowledge and understanding ever since. Daddy and I have tried to feed your need for knowledge, but we're not keeping up. While it's hard for us to admit that you're old enough for kindergarten... we know you're ready for this next adventure.

We saw it when we took you to school for your classroom visit with your new teacher. There was no hesitation on your part... no clinging to our side. You explored that room with wide eyes and asked tons of questions right away. You gravitated toward the books and helped yourself to one right off the shelf... and then sat down in the rocking chair so you could read it to yourself. You've been drawing pictures of yourself in that classroom ever since that visit... and I love seeing how your imagination has captured that moment.

I'm not going to be in the room with you as you start asking more complicated who-what-where-why-when-and-how questions. But I'm looking forward to hearing all about the highlights of your day on the ride home from school. I'm even looking forward to hearing you recap your day a second time for Daddy and J as we eat dinner every night.

Please use your manners. Know that it's okay to make mistakes and get messy. Keep that kindness in your heart.

I love you. Every day. All day.

Love,
Mama

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Five years ago: Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Eight years ago: Italian Wedding Soup
Twelve years ago: White Chicken Chili

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