So technically her first day of preschool was last Thursday and technically she doesn’t bring her lunch to school, but pretending the real first day is today and assuming I would be capable of not only packing a lunch but remembering to put a napkin inside, here’s a little first day of school note for my girl…
Dear Girl Powers,
Today is your FIRST first day of school. There will be many more, and I hope you will be excited for each of them. This morning you were pretty cool about the whole thing, what with the ‘practice run’ we did last week when you got to meet your teacher and spend an hour in your new classroom.
My hope for you as you begin your life in education is that you fall in love with learning. Not with succeeding, not with getting the answers right, not with pleasing your teachers or appeasing your peers; with the learning that happens when you get your hands dirty.
I hope your teachers see what I see: a serious and sometimes timid observer who prefers make-believe and books to climbing and singing. I hope they see these things, and then help you climb and sing anyway. I hope they remember that you are just barely three, even as you tower over your peers and talk circles around them with your vocabulary.
I hope you make friends in this precious time before boys become icky and girls become competition.
I hope that when your feelings get hurt, and they will, that you will tell me about it.
I hope you will say please and thank you and I’m sorry and that others will say these things to you. I hope when you hear words that are not so polite that you will not repeat them at home or teach them to your brother, though this too is inevitable.
I hope the time away from the bubble of home teaches you that the world is good, and exciting, and full of people to play and connect with. I hope it also helps you understand that home is where you can find safety and comfort when the world gets a little too exciting.
I hope the snacks are good and the bathrooms are clean. I hope you don’t pick your nose or wet your pants, at least not on the first day.
I hope there are more smiles than tears.
That’s all I can hope for. The rest is up to you, and you are up for it.