Tomorrow morning your Dad and I will wake you up a little earlier than the summer sleep pattern you are used to. I will make you breakfast and get you dressed. Your bag is already packed–it has been for weeks. We will finish our morning at home and eventually head to the car, while I fight back an insane amount of tears.
Tomorrow is your first day of school. Four half days a week at an elementary school will now be your new routine, and I can’t believe just how fast it came. I swear all I did was turn around and you were one; then turned once more and we celebrated you turning three. How did you get so big? For the last three years, Daddy and I influenced you and watched you bloom into the little girl that you are now becoming. The blessing of you being able to go to school after this past year doesn’t escape me, nor does the anxiety of sending you. But I know that I have to let go. I have to let you dip your toes into new water with more independence than any of us are used to. And even though I am not quite ready for this book to begin, I will be right there with Dad guiding you through each new page. In the end, it will all be alright.
We will adjust to the new schedule and transition. We will talk regularly about new happenings at school. We will watch you flourish and welcome any challenges along the way. If you handle this transition the way you have handled any other other, I know you will be poised even in the midst of uncertainty–accosting each new road with the kind of confidence I wish I had. (That, you get from Dad.)
You are just three little years young and some day this will all make sense to you. At three years old you have faced more adversity than most adults have in a lifetime so even though this letter seems intense for your age, it feels totally appropriate for your soul. I know you are destined to make a known mark here. It’s a great big world out there Tess. But it is not one that you can’t grasp. I have watched you in fleeting moments of bliss and equal moments of weakness. I have seen you fall hard, yet rise up like no other. There is nothing that you can’t do. Nothing. As long as you believe that you can, you always will. Jim Carrey said it best and even though you are light-years from graduating, I want you to always remember this:
“You are ready and able to do beautiful things in this world and after you walk through those doors today, you will only ever have two choices: love or fear. Choose love, and don’t ever let fear turn you against your playful heart.”
Do everything out of love, my dear, and you will go far.
The mom living outside of me wants to hold your hand forever, while the mom inside of my heart is begging me to let you take flight. I assume the richness of parenting also comes from letting go. My job is not to carry you through hand picked opportunities, although that certainly sounds ideal. Our biggest job as parents is to enrich the seeds we planted with the means to grow as individuals, who will one day cultivate their own dreams.
Go forth and grow little seed. You will do great.