A Letter to My Son Before His Very First Day of Preschool

To My Darling Son on This Very Big Day,

Congratulations! I know you don't realize this, mostly because you're 3 and the concept of time is impossible for you to grasp, but you're getting older. So old, in fact, that I can hardly believe just a few short years ago you could barely lift your head during tummy time, and even longer since I could feel you kicking my rib cage. You're growing up too fast for me to adequately rationalize, and today, even though for you it feels totally normal, is a very big day.

Most days, we've been able to play together, doing largely whatever we want, but preschool is going to be a different animal. I know that this is going to be hard for you, and it's OK to cry. You're going to have some big feelings that I know you can't express, and tears are going to be the only way for you to tell me how you feel. Cry and hold on to me as I leave — I can take it, because I know that after I leave, you'll be surrounded by people who will take care of you.

Preschool is the beginning of your education. This doesn't mean that you haven't been learning a ton already. Colors, shapes, sizes, numbers, and letters are some of you favorite things, and in school you'll learn more things than you could ever dream of. But school is about so much more than books and stuff found on tests. Now, your other qualities will shine through.

On the playground and while out with friends, I'm constantly in awe of your kindness. Even though you often resemble the Tasmanian Devil or a whirling dervish, your high energy doesn't mean you're not also a sweet sharer who loves playing with your friends. You think of others, and that compassion will serve you well in preschool, but it won't be easy.

In school, as in life, there are going to be people who think, feel, and play differently, and even worse, won't follow the rules. While I wish that every day and interaction for you will be copacetic, having gone to school for many years, I know that's not the case. Whether you disagree with the teacher, are in an argument with a classmate, or are just not in a mood to interact, remember to be kind even if you don't get it in return.

Ask for help, which is something you're a little too good at while at home. Continue that desire to learn and be aided by others. I know that you'll likely be a little quiet at first, but by letting others know that you need assistance or that you don't understand something, you're opening up your world to a whole new level of learning. Trust your gut, and when you're ready to try on your own, your teachers will be there if you need them.

You are so brave. Thank you for being my son, and trusting us. Preschool is, whether you recognize it or not, the start of a grand adventure for you. For at least the next 15 years, you'll be asked to learn, practice, and grow even when you don't feel like it. Continue to be my brave little one. Before you know it, we will blink and you'll be grown, but you'll always be my baby boy.

All My Love I Could Possibly Give,
Your Mama