My dearest little first-grade baby girl,
I know, I know. You aren’t a baby. You are a big kid. Didn’t we do this not so long ago? I wrote you a letter as you took those big steps across the stage to receive your kindergarten diploma. It was just a few months ago; that seems more like seconds ago. Again. This time thing when you are a mama goes way too fast. Maybe someday you will understand.
But, here we are. Time has once again acted as a thief and left me with a summer that just wasn’t quite long enough and a little emotional. And, when the tears get to flowing, the letters get written. So, here we are.
I don’t want you to read this letter now even though your skills have improved greatly and I’m sure you could get through some of it.
It would be best if you didn’t read it now because then you might realize the truth. The truth is that your mama isn’t as strong as she seems. I may put on my positive panties and a happy face as we get through these last couple of weeks of summer. I may act excited about shopping for new back-to-school clothes. I may cheer you on as you choose the perfect new backpack. But, on the inside, my heart is shattering when I think of your toddlerhood, pre-k, and kindergarten days coming to an end.
But to get you through this transition, I will be the happiest “go get em” mama you ever did see. I will be cheering you on as we walk you through those big, heavy doors on the first day. I will be greeting you at the end of the day with the biggest hug and possibly celebratory after-school ice cream. You and I will both need it.
Ain’t nothing some mint chocolate chip can’t cure.
But you won’t know that I sat in the parking lot a little longer than I should after dropping you off. And you won’t know how I was the first mom to that same parking lot at pick-up time. And you won’t know the images that raced through my mind as I sat there picturing you sitting at your very own big girl desk waiting for the dismissal bell to ring. They will be the same images that have been running through my mind all summer long as I think of you going off to the first grade.
Those images from the first night at the hospital with a little bitty baby girl sleeping in her crib right next to me.
How I stayed up all night long because I still couldn’t believe that God had granted me this perfect and precious gift. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t miss a thing of your first night here on this earth.
Those images of a frilly dressed, big bow wearing baby girl who would sing herself to sleep. Images of a baby girl chasing her cousin in her walker in her grandparents’ driveway. Images of road trips with dad in the driver seat and me always in the back seat with you. Playing. Singing. Learning. Images of mommy and me time playing on the floor and having dance parties with The Wiggles as our soundtrack while your brother napped. Images of classes at The Little Gym followed by lunches at Chick-fil-a.
Images of playdates at the Science Spectrum, our favorite park, and ladybug hunts in the backyard. Images of a little girl pulling her tutu over her head in dance class. Images of scraped knees that apparently needed nine bandaids, bedtime stories that I thought would never end, singing “You Are My Sunshine” a trillion and two times. Images of you and all the wonderful times we’ve had these past six years won’t stop flooding through my mind. And, I don’t want them to.
I have loved being there for your first cry, your first laugh, your first bite of mushed up bananas, your first smile, your first time to crawl, your first tooth, your first loose tooth, your first night in your crib, your first night in a big girl bed, your first road trip, your first toddler tantrum in the middle of Target, your first time on a big girl potty, your first everything.
And, while it may make me teary-eyed and a little nostalgic, remember that I am just a mom whose first baby is going off to the first grade. And, I will love being there for that too.
Love, your super proud but super emotional, Mama