When I walk away from your classroom on the first day of Kindergarten, I know my mind will flash back to the first time I held you in my arms, and I will swallow the lump in my throat as I contemplate how the heck we have already arrived at this day.
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I hope your dad and I have equipped you with what you need to succeed as you take this NEXT BIG STEP. I can’t help but feel like there is still so much left to teach you. Some of these words apply now, and some not for many years from now, but I hope they all will serve you at some point as you navigate through the next thirteen years.
Treat others as you would want to be treated.
This is called the golden rule because it is so simple, yet sometimes so hard to actually follow! EMPATHY is something that grows with time and experience, and I hope that you will develop it in spades. You will encounter peers that won’t look like you, won’t dress like you, won’t like the same things you like, and might have polar opposite viewpoints. No matter your differences, you should always strive to treat others with dignity and respect. We are all learning from each other, every day.
P.S. These rules applies to your whole life, not just while you are in school.
The friends you make in Kindergarten have the potential to be your friends for life.
One day you will realize that you have been friends for decades and this will make you feel really old, but incredibly grateful. These friends that stood by you while you accidentally peed your pants in 1st Grade, that stood up for you when someone was MEAN TO YOU, that practiced for hours with you on the field or court, and spent countless nights staying up with you until the early morning hours during sleepovers.…these friends will become even more precious to you as the years go by.
They will live in your earliest school memories and will probably know you better than you know yourself. When life gets shaky, these friends will provide you with a solid foundation to set your feet upon.
Don’t write mean notes about your teachers.
Even if science is your least favorite subject, and you drag yourself to that class, and you CAN’T WAIT UNTIL THE SEMESTER IS OVER, you don’t need to write about it in a note to your friend. Who am I kidding, notes are so 1990s. Don’t text anything mean about your teachers. If they see it and call you out, you will feel like the biggest jerk ever. And you should. Because that’s just not cool.
Even if other kids are up to no good, you don’t have to join them.
I am certain that you will face peer pressure. You will find yourself in uncomfortable situations and forced to make decisions that will be really hard to make. Trust your gut.
I hope that we have instilled in you the confidence to follow your own path and make wise choices, even if it’s not the most popular choice. On the other hand, know that we will love you no matter what and you can tell us anything. For reals.
You will probably have your heart broken and it will hurt like hell.
And for awhile it might feel like your world is crumbling. You might need to blast Sinead O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” for weeks on end. (Or whatever song helps you through the heartache). I will try to be sympathetic as I bang on your door to “turn that music down!”
Just know that one day down the road, when you are with THE ONE you are meant to be with, you can look back on this time with a completely new perspective and you might even be thankful for it.
Be the friend.
I beg of you. If you see someone that is alone and hurting, offer to sit with them, or invite them to play with you. If you see someone getting picked on, be the one that stands up to the bully on their behalf. You never know how one simple and kind act can change someone’s life. If you are the one that is alone and hurting or being picked on, I pray that a classmate will notice and hold that space for you.
I imagine that technology will be both a blessing and a curse for you.
I graduated long before TEXTING AND SOCIAL MEDIA became the go-to way of communicating. I can’t even fathom how much technology will change the dynamic in your friendships and relationships. And the thought of you ever being cyber-bullied makes me want to cry.
I know it is here to stay, and I already know that you will leave me in the dust when it comes to knowing about and using technology. So I will just say…please be careful with it, please be wise about it, please be kind, and for the love of all things holy, no sexting!!
Don’t be afraid to fully embrace who you are.
You are your own unique person, and you have gifts that are meant to be shared with the world. I can see those gifts, and I hope that as you grow, you will be able to recognize them in yourself.
So my sweet boy, as I hand you over to your teachers for the next 13 years, I can’t promise that things will be easy. But I can promise that I have always been, and will always be, your biggest fan.