Dear sweet, precious, intelligent, life- and world-changing little baby boy,
Next week, you start kindergarten.
Somehow you’ve grown from the tiny human who used to hide finger foods in his hair when he was done eating to the four and a half (the half is very important) year old who will, in fits of frustration, burst “I quit!” to simple requests like “please put shoes on your feet.”
And all of a sudden, you are one of fourteen sweet precious angel babies who will all bustle in to your classroom on Tuesday. I hope a lot of things for your first year of school. I hope that you continue to love reading and find books that challenge you and encourage your sense of creativity. I hope that you learn to channel your excitement for answers and learning into a way that doesn’t impede the learning of others. I hope you don’t drive your teacher nuts by quoting to her, line by line, the screenplay to The Muppets.
With all my heart and soul I want to hope that you will never be hurt by anyone and that you will never hurt anyone. I can’t hope that, precious angel boy. Someday, you will come home sad because someone broke you a little bit. Believe that it will make me sad, too. I will cry with you, real tears; I will break. Another day, you’ll come home with a note that says you were mean to someone, and I don’t know how I’ll handle it. I might yell, indicating that I can somehow fix mean with mean. Know that I’m only trying to make you the best version of yourself, and I don’t always know what I’m doing. I might make you feel like you have disappointed me, but you haven’t. You need these experiences, to hurt and be hurt. I hate having to watch them. I hate knowing I’ll be a third party, a silent observer, a fly on the wall. But I can’t butt in, little baby one. You need to learn empathy, you need to feel what others feel, so when you are not a kindergartener or a third grader or a high schooler, you will know how to treat people as God would treat them. You will show love and kindness, because even if you don’t think “I remember when that girl cried on the playground because of something I did,” that revelation will be a part of you. So I hope, buddy boy, I hope that you have those painful moments of truth and get them out of the way swiftly.
You’ll do big things, little man. I’m excited to be along for the ride.
Also, I’m drinking a mimosa after you get on the school bus.
Dear teacher of my sweet precious baby angel,
Your new student will be a handful.
(In the best way.)
He loves to learn, he loves to share. He, like all of the rest of your students, will most likely not know how to handle something like asking a friend to play with him and have that friend answer “no.” He might lash out. He’s not a fighter, he’s confused. You know that. This is not your first rodeo.
I love my precious boy with all of my heart, believe me, but I know how he can get. Sometimes I just want to put him on his own little island. With walls all around it, so he doesn’t fall into the water. And with someone to bring him three meals a day, and — jail. I’m thinking of jail. Sometimes I want to send him to jail. You will too, it’s okay. I promise to genuinely engage with him about school so he doesn’t keep making the same mistakes that make you want to send him to jail. Unless a really good episode of Scandal is on. Just kidding. Do you like Scandal? I digress.
Dear brave teacher, I know you know this, but I’m giving you a piece of my angel pumpkin’s heart. He’ll remember you, his first full-time, every single day teacher. I trust and pray you will, but go gentle on that young one’s heart? He has just the one. Encourage him. Inspire him. I know it is asking a lot, but you’re a kindergarten teacher. Wear a cape to school someday and I’ll mistake you for an actual, flying-around superhero. Great power. Great responsibility. You know how it goes.
Thanks for what you do.
Sweet precious angel pumpkin number fourteen’s mama
Please watch over my baby. Please watch over all of the babies: young, old, public schooled, home schooled, private schooled, no schooled.
And please, please help me be strong on Tuesday.
Amen and amen.