To Ella on Your First Day of School

Dear Ella,

Today is your first day of school.  This is a big step for you.  I know it may be scary for you, believe it or not your mommy and I are scared too!  But we are excited for you as well.  I am excited that you get to learn new things, meet new people and make new friends.  I’m excited that you will have fun adventures and sing new songs and play with other kids your age.  But all of that can be scary because you will be in a new place, and we will have to say goodbye, but just for  a little while.  Do you understand that we are coming back to pick you up?  Will you know that we are waiting, even counting down the minutes before we will be able to swing around again in the car and get you back for ourselves?

I hope we have done enough to prepare you.  We have visited your school, played on the playground, met with your teachers, and even made you a little book with all of our pictures in it that talks about what it means to go to school.  I know you are super excited about your Minnie Mouse backpack!  And we can’t wait to take some pictures of you wearing it, although we will have to wake you up earlier than normal.  I’m hoping you will still be in a good mood!   We have taught you to “Be brave” so I hope that will help you face the challenges this day will bring you.  It’s OK to cry though, but know that we will be back in a little while to get you.  Don’t cry the whole time!  We have been talking about going to school “all by yourself” and how that makes you such a big girl.  It’s sad to see you grow up sometimes, but only because you are so cute just how you are.  But every time I see you assert your growing independence, you make me proud.

I don’t know what to expect from today.  Should I brace myself for tears? Or will you nonchalantly wave goodbye and trot happily into the building.  How will I respond?  What emotions will this day bring?  I have no idea.  This is unchartered waters.  And while part of me wonders if we are navigating through these waters too soon, another part of me says it will be alright and that you will do wonderful.

So have a great day in class.  Listen to your teacher.  Love others and be kind.  Learn as much as you can, and I’ll be there when you’re done to give you a big hug and tell you how smart you are and how proud I am because you’re my daughter.  And if you have to have a meltdown, make it good because I’ll be getting it all on tape and I want to win America’s Funniest Home Videos…

Love,

Daddy

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