Dear Baby, Before You Head Off to Kindergarten

By Jessica Wolstenholm

School Backpack - School

Hey baby,

I know you’re busy playing but can you crawl up here on mama’s lap for a few minutes so we can talk?

When did you get so big? Not that long ago you were struggling to find steps but this morning you got dressed all by yourself. I beamed as you walked out of your room with a perfectly paired outfit; so proud but secretly relieved to see you struggle with the buttons on your shirt. Did you leave them for me?

Kindergarten will be starting soon and to be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about it. You’re ready. I’m ready. But it feels as though I’ll start the motherhood learning curve all over again, with so much to figure out in this new season of life. Be patient with me, baby. It may take me a while to get used to our new normal but I wouldn’t dare keep you from spreading your wings so I’m determined to let go with grace and confidence.

Before I watch you launch into this new season of life and let go of all we’ve known for the past 5 years, there are a few things I want you to know.

I will miss our quiet days together. Just you and me. Reading, playing, even running errands. Those normal, uneventful moments chatting over goldfish and puzzles have made up some of my most favorite days as a mom. Even though you’ll be in Kindergarten, I promise to find time we can be together with no big plans or expectations. No schedules or homework. Just you and me, your favorite toys, and a bowl of yummy, cheesy fish.

This new adventure may be scary but I know we’ll grow through it. Change is hard, even when it’s exciting. Kindergarten will be a big adjustment for both of us. But if we are patient with each other and we talk about the ups and downs, I know we’ll be better for having taken the leap into the great unknown.

Our great big world needs YOU and you are ready to make your mark on it. You, my sweet child, have wonderfully unique gifts that the world needs. Some of those gifts I’ve had the privilege of uncovering with you at home and there will be more to come as you enter a beautifully diverse community of teachers, students, and knowledge. Don’t forget who you are but don’t be afraid to grow.

Some days will be full of wonder. Some days will be hard. Let the good days fuel your joy for learning but don’t let the tough ones take the fun out of it. Kindergarten is going to be so much fun. But it’s also going to be hard at times. The more your brain is challenged and your norm is stretched, the more uncomfortable you may feel. Even hard things can be fun if we accept the challenge with a good attitude. I’m here to help you face each one with joy.

You have the opportunity to share love every day. Pay attention to those who need it most. You are a light, my love. Shine brightly every single day. Look for teachers and friends who need the gift you have to give and share it generously.

Being a part of a learning community is a privilege. Be thankful for your education. Complaining doesn’t help us through hard things. But thanksgiving turns even the toughest situations around. I promise to remain thankful and to help you find the good in every situation.

No matter what happens out there, home will always be your safe place. When you walk through our door at the end of the day, I will be waiting with arms open wide. Home is your safe place. I am your safe place. No matter what you encounter on any given day, it’s going to be okay because you are loved.

It’s just about time. We’re standing at the edge of all we’ve ever known and you’re almost ready to spread those wings and soar into your future. Nothing will ever be the same, except for the love I have for you. May it carry and sustain you through this great adventure.