To My Daughters As Another School Year Ends

To my sweet sweet daughters (who are probably already fighting as this post goes live because I just jinxed myself):

Another school year comes to an end and I wanted to take a few minutes to sit down and share some thoughts with you – thoughts about the year, thoughts about the two of you, thoughts about the future, thoughts about snack foods and donuts.

This year, one of you rocked third grade and one of you started your school career in kindergarten and had fun doing it. And now, on the other side of it, I am proud of you both individually for your school experiences. Pumpkin, you learned to read this year – a skill that will follow you everywhere and always. Princess, you experienced challenge – something you hadn’t known until now, but will serve you so well in the future: sometimes things won’t come easily but if you keep at it, you’ll GET IT. It wasn’t easy to watch you cry in frustration over your math homework some nights – but the thing was, you knew the answer every time – you just had to dig a little deeper to find it.

There are things I want you to learn in school – reading and writing, of course. Math, most definitely. It’d be nice to know the state tree of Michigan – but you may or may not ever use it again. Actually, if you learn the state tree – tell me. I have no clue what it is. I want you to get all the book smarts you can possibly soak up.

But while you are learning long division and story problems and phonetics, I also want you to learn some other things in your life – as the summer goes on and in the years beyond.

How to be a good friend. How to choose friends that are good to you. How to value the worth of your contribution to the world – to know that you matter, and that what you have to offer is important. I want you to be kind, be courteous. I want you to use your manners, even if I’m not watching.

I want you to know the joy of being active and loving exercise. I want you to be strong. I want you to find an activity and sport that you love to do. Whether it’s gymnastics or swimming always – or if you find something else – I can’t emphasize how important it is to treat your body kindly – by feeding it mostly good things and being active – and I hope that you learn to love that. It’s fun – I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.

I hope you learn to make the perfect pot of al dente pasta. It’s an important skill. One of you already enjoys cooking FAR MORE THAN I DO – but should your skills never progress beyond making pasta, perfectly, I think you’ll be okay.

Crunchy Cheetos are far better than Puffy Cheetos and CheezIts are superior to Cheese Nips. Wheat Thins and Triscuits aren’t even in the same ball park and donuts are just donuts – and when the store doesn’t have your favorite, know that they’re all pretty much the same anyway for the most part – just some are cuter than others. And to know that crackers and donuts and cookies are all super awesome – in moderation.

I hope you’ll start enjoying your puppy more. Yes, he’s an overactive circus freak of a dog sometimes, but he’s your dog and he’ll protect you and he loves you – even if he’s a little goofy and playful sometimes. Pets are a huge responsibility and I need a little more help with this dude than you’re giving me.

Princess, I want you to stop watching that awful “That’s So Raven” show on Netflix Instant. It’s awful and it makes me want to slam my head into a wall. While we’re at it, Pumpkin? I’ve had the theme song to Strawberry Shortcake stuck in my head for days (“Straw-buh-buh-buh-berry Shortcake!”) and I’m getting berry sick of it.

Okay, enough negative.

I could make a laundry list of all the things I want you to learn – I kind of already have, I suppose. But really, the bottom line is that I already like the girls you are and I like what you are becoming, and I think you’ll be okay. As each year goes by, I see in both of you that your heart and your capacity to love and kindness grows with time, and that even when I think I cannot possibly love you more than I already do – I’m wrong. You just keep getting more amazing.

How did I get so lucky to have such amazing kids?

All this school stuff I hope you figure out someday – you’ll learn it, and if you never know what the state motto of Michigan is, that’s okay with me. (By the way, I just googled it for you – in Latin it’s Si Quaeris Peninsulam Amoenam Circumspice, which I believe translates roughly into There’s a lot of water to look at so you can forget what the unemployment rate is here. Or something). The book stuff? You’ll learn it.

What will make me happiest is if you keep being nice people, keep being loving, keep smiling and making me smile, keep telling me jokes with convoluted punchlines that make no sense, keep knowing my coffee order so you can rattle it off at Starbucks, keep kissing my hand as we walk through Costco, keep leaving notes for me to find around the house, keep reading to your sister, keep asking to go to the library for fun, keep laughing that amazing laugh that pulls an instant smile to my face, keep doing the sign for “I love you” in my direction when you walk away, keep telling me my chocolate french toast is the best ever, keep asking me to tuck you in (but only once per night, please), keep doing all those things that you already do because…

All of those things are reasons why I love you both so much.

I’m so lucky to be your mom.

Love you both.

About sarah

Sarah is a book nerd, a music lover, an endorphin junkie, a coffee addict. Oh, and a goof ball. She writes, she tweets, and she sings off key.


  1. This is lovely.

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