To My Daughters on the Night Before the First Day of School

Dear Princess & Pumpkin:

As I type this, you are winding down for the evening and I am starting to make lists of the things that need to be done tomorrow morning before the big yellow bus pulls up at the end of the driveway to swoop you girls off to your first day of school. This isn’t your first first day of school ever, but something about the start of a new school year seems like a time filled with such potential – a new start, a clean slate, fresh beginnings.

I am excited for you.

I know that there are parents who are saddened by the first day of school – sending a child off another year older than last year makes the passage of time seem more concrete somehow. Time seems, to them, to be passing too quickly.

But I don’t feel sad.

I don’t feel sad because I’m too busy being excited – because each new year is a new start with new beginnings, new friends to make, new challenges, new things to learn. There are so many opportunities in front of you – kidwise, there probably aren’t so many times filled with as much potential as the start of a new school year.

Princess, you are in fourth grade now. When I was in fourth grade, my teacher was Mrs. K – and she was absent a lot. I remember I went to school on top of a big hill and I remember the dusty walk down the hill every day (It was in California – so you’re not going to get any “I walked up hill in the snow in fourth grade” stories from me). I was in fourth grade the year the Challenger space shuttle exploded – and that is one of my vivid memories of that year. I was also in a gifted & talented class and we did projects like… trying to design packaging that we could put an egg in so that when we dropped it off a building it wouldn’t break. We also had to create a project and make a commercial for it (I remember my team created “Ubble Bubble Bubble Bath”). I remember some girls singing “Sussudio” on the playground one time. I remember jumping rope. I remember a talent show where I did a dance to Madonna’s “Dress You Up” and I got so nervous I forgot to move and it was mortifying and awful and embarrassing. I was a goofy kid, miss.

But I remember fourth grade and I remember the age, and I know that some day you’ll be thirty-something and remembering it too — so I hope you’ll enjoy this time and enjoy these moments and know that you are already WAY cooler than mommy ever was.

And Pumpkin… You are in first grade now. I wish I could say I remember a lot about first grade, but do you know what I remember most? I remember grandpa packing my lunches. He’d make a week’s worth of peanut butter on sourdough sandwiches, wrap them in aluminum foil and put them in the freezer. He’d put one in my lunch each day. At lunch time, my sandwich was never fully thawed, and I loved eating those half frozen sandwiches. I remember me and a friend laughing because we saw the name “Regina” on a movie or something in class, and we thought it rhymed with “vagina” (In our defense, I don’t think it was a very common name back then. I had never heard or seen it before). Anyway, as kids are wont to do – we thought that was hilarious. I’m sure we laughed far more than was necessary.

I repeat: Your mom was a goofy kid. You guys are already way cooler than I ever was.

I’m very proud of you guys. I don’t get sad or worry when I put you on that bus because I know you are smart, amazing and resourceful. I know that you’re going to do fabulously. I know you will each take your classroom and your school world by storm.

And it will be good.

And you will be fine.

I am so excited for you. I love you both.

I love you with my whole heart and I am so very lucky to be your mom.



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.

Speak Your Mind