Dear Tessa: “When I Grow Up…”


Dear Tessa,

Another year of school is in the books.  Yesterday was your last day of early childhood and 4K.  From a shaky start to the year to building new friendships to learning how to pedal a bike and sweeping up your IEP goals, you did not miss a beat this school year.  You had an amazing year, and your dad and I could not be more proud of you.   How could we not be?


The icing of the cake for your awesome year came when you received your very first birthday party invite from a friend at school this week.  A real, hand delivered birthday party invite from a friend with your name on it.  I don’t know who was more excited…me or you!  Alright you were definitely more excited.  I just cried when I watched your elation over the little pink invite…like a lot.

Obviously this week has been really emotional for your dear old mom.


On your final day of school, your 4K class had a program at school.  All three classes lined up in the gym and each child took a turn at the microphone introducing themselves and sharing what they wish to be when they grow up. Dad and I watched the kids before you, and we wondered what you would say or if you would say anything at all.  After all, there were a lot of people in the gym and I would have been nervous.  Not you, though.

“My name is Tessa. When I grow up, I want to be a teacher.”

Oh my heart…

You can hear me at the end, “Awww…” Deep breath.  Camera stopped.  If I did not fight back the urge to let those tears pour, it would have been a mess where we were sitting.

A teacher.  My dear, sweet Tessa what an a wonderful and appropriate goal you have.

To take all of your knowledge and all of your life experiences and to share it all with others.  To create and inspire.  To continue to learn and to share your heart.  That is exactly what a teacher is, and you are already a very good teacher.  You just don’t know it yet.

You took your dream and threw it out into the universe.  We heard you.  There is no doubt in my mind that you will make an excellent teacher…or astronaut…or chef…or mermaid princess or whatever it is you want to be. Because, you know, dreams change and that is okay too!

Promise me that you will keep dreaming.  Promise me that fear will not stop you; that obstacles will not stop you; that people won’t stop you.

Because you can do anything.

Tessa fly 2
We promise we will be there to nurture your dreams every step of the way.  We can’t wait to see where they take you!

When you are 18 and walking across that stage, about to collect your high school diploma, I will remember that day you grabbed the microphone and proudly proclaimed what you want to be when you grow up.  And I probably will not be able to fight the tears then.

Love, Mom…and Dad, too

One thought on “Dear Tessa: “When I Grow Up…”

  1. Dear Becky,

    I have enjoyed all of your writing about Tessa. This one ranks up near the top, for sure. I know Tessa will realize her dreams. Not only because she is such a special little girl, but because she has a very special mom and dad, to help her along the way.


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