A change in the wind
I remember the night before you were born, when I was sitting in the hospital bed awaiting your arrival. I didn’t know anything about being a mother. I knew nothing of what you would become. I simply knew that I loved you and that I was ready to figure it out.
There’s been a change in the wind, a tenseness in the atmosphere, and I feel it down to the very bottom of my soul – you’re growing up.
Just as I sat there in that hospital bed, staring the unknown right in the face, here I sit in my quiet living room with you upstairs sleeping, dreaming of what will be your very first day of kindergarten.
I’ve been preparing for this day since the moment you were born. The moment I heard your first cries and the moment I gave you your name.
I’ve been preparing for the moment you will let go of my hand.
I’ve been saying for years now, gosh I can’t wait until all the kids are in school. But here I sit, the day before your first day and I’m a perfect mixture of happy and sad. Happy because you’re so happy. So excited of what’s to come. But I’m sad because you’re growing up quicker than I can keep up with.
One thing I know for sure, Claire, is that you’re ready.
You asked me today, “What if I can’t remember how to read? What if I forget where I sit?”
I immediately felt that same knot that you must be feeling right in the pit of your stomach. Sweet daughter, I feel the same way you do. But not for the same reasons.
You will know your way. You will do the right things. And if you don’t, it’s okay because that’s what school is for. You know the golden rule of school – if you don’t know, ask.
Dear, sweet Claire. I have raised you to be kind, honest and giving. You have never disappointed me. It’s okay to be nervous and it’s even okay to be a little scared. The unknown is a very scary place to be. But because I have raised you to be the girl that you are, never fear about being alone. All the things that I have instilled in you, that is me. You are taking me with you, wherever you go.
Remember to always smile. To talk to every kid in your class. To remember how badly it feels to be left out, so you won’t do the same. To not judge another person. That if you see someone being bullied, to come to their aid. If someone is mean to you, you tell them so, because nothing is more frightening to a bully than a bully being called out for being a bully. And if that person continues to bully you, don’t stay silent.
Remember that you are there to learn. That it will take some adjustment time. Some days will be better than the others, so don’t get disheartened if it’s not what you imagined it would be like all the time.
Remember that you are a good person. Some kids may not see that and that’s their problem, not yours. You be the good, sweet, amazing child I raised you to be. That’s all that matters.
Claire, tomorrow is the start of something new, and for the first time in your almost six years, you have to go on without me. Tomorrow I will hold your hand as we walk to the bus stop. And tomorrow, for the first time ever, I will let go of your hand and let you go out into the big world without me.
I’m not afraid. I raised you to be the person you are.
You will be just fine.