You can’t quite read yet, but I am going to leave this here for you anyway. That way when you’re schooling me on long division and chemistry in a few short years, we can look back at your humble beginnings and remember where it all started… The day I dropped you off at Kindergarten.
Now, you might have noticed I hugged you a little longer and a little tighter than usual this morning. You also might have noticed I shed a few, silent tears, as we said goodbye. You see, there’s this invisible gas that they ventilate through school on the first day of Kindergarten: It makes some mommies and daddies cry. (I know, crazy, right?! But, don’t you worry, it doesn’t affect the kids!) Your warm hug and big smile helped me be brave, as always.
I hope you love your teacher this year. I hope she thinks your knock-knock jokes are as funny as I do, and I hope you can help her remember the names of each superhero and his arch-nemesis. I hope you treat her with respect and kindness, because we’ve worked really hard on making you an all-around nice guy, so don’t make us look bad, okay?! You’re even allowed to share a few hugs with her, if you’d like (but be sure to save some for me.) And I hope Mrs. E makes you feel safe when I’m away. I hope she helps you feel welcome and excited to learn. Most importantly, I hope Mrs. E realizes how precious you are to me and your dad. More precious than you will ever know, baby boy.
And don’t forget to be kind to the kids at school. You’re going to meet people who are different from you. Always, always be kind. Practice patience and compassion. Sit with the boy who is by himself at the lunch table. Play with the girl who is lonely on the playground, and try not to leave anyone out. Be a friend, a good friend. (And just remember, they are girls that are friends – not girlfriends.) I wish I could tell you that everyone is going to be friendly and things will be wonderful and harmonious every second, but I know in my heart, you are going to get your feelings hurt. I love you and I will cry with you in those moments and we will both be better and stronger for it. Because, that is the reality of this big, crazy world: If we didn’t experience sadness and anger and pain, we wouldn’t be able to truly appreciate all the super, amazing, wonderful stuff, either. And, boy, let me tell you, there is so much joy waiting for you out there. This is only the beginning.
I hope you know I will always be here waiting for you. Waiting to hear about your adventures and the awesome things you learn each day. I will always be here to help you and to push you to do your best and to cheer you on through Kindergarten and the rest of your life. After all, I was your first teacher, and though it might be hard for me to see the little baby inside you go, I am so proud of the smart, funny, strong, warmhearted big kid you have become. You are the most wonderful part of me, sweet boy, the best thing I’ve ever done, and I can’t wait to share that with the world. You are my real-life superhero, kid.
Good luck at school and please don’t get lice!