My baby girl started school this week. I know you are probably a very good teacher, but I also know she is only one of 13 students. Right now you know very little about her. Maybe if I told you about her, you might appreciate the gem of a girl you have in your class.
You see, she was my “late baby”, so I always took advantage of all of the time we had alone together. I knew this was my last chance at doing the baby thing, so I went full force with it. I was probably selfish in keeping her with me more than letting her out among the social situations. Despite my sheltering, she thrived last year in preschool. But that was only half time and 3 days a week. Not to mention the fact that I could choose to keep her home. This year, she is yours for 7 hours a day. That is long time for a 5 year old. That is a long time for a 5 year old’s Mom.
Sometimes, she will act shy. She is really just summing up the situation. She likes knowing what is happening before it happens. So please don’t label her shy. She can be quite outgoing. Which leads me to her talking. She loves to tell you stories about fairies and princesses. She loves to share her thoughts. Please try not to stifle that as it makes her so special and shows her creative side. And did I mention, she sometimes colors outside the lines (and it doesn’t bother her) or will purposely color the sky purple or the grass pink because as she says “sometimes the world needs to be seen in different ways.” Please encourage her to continue to see things that way. Don’t make her grass always green if she can choose.
Oh, and she has 2 older brothers. They treat her like she is a princess. So, she might be used to being treated as more special than your average 5 year old. They have always been there to keep her calm and to show her the way. And let’s be honest, I have always been there to kiss her boo-boo’s and soothe her fears. Now, you are the one who will be with her to do those things. Please let her know that you are capable of making it all better when she gets hurt. She probably won’t believe you at first, but she will realize that you are a good person and on her side soon.
When I dropped her off on the first day, she happily put on her name tag, gave me a hug and rushed off to color with her “new friends.” She seemed so tiny and so old at the same time. I was filled with pride and saddness watching her. Pride that she is so secure in herself that she was ready to face this new big challenge without me and seemed so confident in who she is. Yet, a little bittersweet that she didn’t need me. If she gets her feelings hurt or her knees scraped on the sidewalk, she is going to turn to you. To You. Not to me because I won’t be there.
Don’t get me wrong, I am very proud of her and her independence, but try to remember that I am having a hard time letting my little girl go. Take good care of her. She is my world. And if you can, remember that I might be having a tough time letting go, so try to be patient with me, too. Letting go is forcing both of us to grow up. At this point, she is doing so well, but me? I may need a little push, pat on the head and a “you can do this” every now and then. But I do promise to let her go to you for those 7 hours.
Kindergarten….it is so bittersweet.
Thank you for being such a kind, understanding teacher.
She I will need it.