Tomorrow after lunch I will lead you onto a bus and watch it drive away as you head for your first day of kindergarten. And once again another huge milestone passes as you start your adventure of your school age years. You could not be more excited, talking about seeing your teacher and making new friends, but I find myself more nervous, and a little sad, and worried about how it will go. There are so many things I have no control over, and I wonder if Daddy and I have prepared you enough to tackle this new adventure. School can be a scary place, full of bullies and cliques and everything else, and there is no way to completely protect you from all of it.
There are so many hopes I have for you as you start school. I hope the excitement you feel about learning today continues on throughout your life, and that the smart, silly, sensitive, and creative young girl you are now grows up to be a smart, silly, sensitive, and creative young woman. I hope you continue to think of everyone as your friend, that you continue to see the best in everyone, as you do today. I hope you continue to view the world as a lifelong lesson in learning and that the journey never ends for you. And I hope that on this learning journey you find something that you are so excited about, so passionate about, that brings you great joy, and that you are one of the lucky ones that can turn this passion into a career. I hope you see success as a part of the journey, and that you measure it by how you feel, what you learn, and how you treat others, not by any monetary standard or by the possessions you do or don't have. That is the true measure of success.
One of the things I love most about you at this age is your individuality. I love that you'll mix patterns with stripes, that more color is better (matching or not), and that you don't notice or care what others think about it. I love that you already admire your big brother, and that the two of you have such a great bond and love. I feel like you will be there to protect each other in school, that you each already have a built in friend. I hope as you get into school you continue to follow your beliefs, that you are less concerned about whats "cool" than what's right. I hope you keep the belief that it is ok to be different, and that you are able to realize that the kids who would tease you about it are the ones with the problem. I hope that you do find a group of friends who understand and accept you for who you are unconditionally. Friends will change throughout your life, but I would love it if you found a lifelong friend this year that you could carry with you through all the changes that lie ahead for you.
I hope that as you venture out into the adventure of the school years that you keep the childlike optimism you have now. I hope that as you learn how cruel the world can be, that you continue to view it as hopeful, that you look for the positives in life, and that you appreciate the beauty in the simple things around you. Happiness lies as much in attitude as in circumstance, and so I hope that when life gives you lemons you'll make lemonade.
I hope that you continue to build your relationship with God, that you aren't afraid to share your beliefs, and that you show your classmates God's love through your words and actions. I love listening to you pray each day, and hearing you sing to God, and I hope that you continue to build that relationship and to trust in him.
One of my biggest fears as I send you off is how you will deal with your marfan syndrome, and with your challenges when it comes to physical education. I worry about you being teased for not being able to play contact sports, for not being able to shoot hoops or play floor hockey with your classmates. But I recognize that the kids who would tease would find something to make fun of regardless, and that being teased is a universal experience everyone goes through while growing up. I hope that when faced with the choice to make fun of someone to fit in or to walk away, you'll choose to walk away. Real friends will respect you for this decision, and anyone else isn't worth your time.
The most important thing you need to know in this new adventure, as in everything in your life, is that your Daddy and I are so proud you. We know that great things lie ahead for you, and we believe that you can do anything you set your mind to do. When we wished for a little girl 6 years ago, we had no idea how much joy and how much personality you would bring to our family. We couldn't have imagined how much we could love you, how silly, sweet, smart, and compassionate you are. I couldn't have imagined that a second child would make our family feel so complete, and I had no idea how it would feel to have pieces of your heart walking around in two separate little bodies. But I know now, and it's amazing being your mom. I will always be able to close my eyes and see you as that tiny newborn attached to all those wires in the NICU, so when I want to hold you tighter to keep you safe, you might have to remind me it's ok to let go. You've turned out to be the strongest little girl I've ever met. No matter what you become, what adventures you take on in this journey called life, we will never love you less that we do right now, with all our heart & soul & mind. We can't wait to watch you conquer the world and to travel this journey by your side. Learn well baby girl.
I Love you all the way to the moon and back,