Friday, September 11, 2009

To The Girl

Yesterday we watched you climb on the bus for your first day of kindergarten. You bounded in so quickly I barely took the picture, and you were gone.

You're incredibly ready. At kindergarten orientation, you slipped into the classroom like a fish into water. When the teacher read the class a story, you locked on, and you were the first to make an observation about the story. And you've got that blend of 'cute' and 'commanding' that only little girls can get away with.

Your Mom and I aren't so ready. She quit her job shortly before you were born, so for the last five years, you've been her nearly constant companion. Preschool gave her a flavor of the house without you, but it was only half a day, a few days a week. This is different. And it's the start of a long process of you spreading your wings and gradually moving us to the background.

I know you already know this, but we're sooooo proud of you. And you'll do great.

When you got home, you bounced with happiness and triumph, and told us about the entire day. To nobody's surprise, you already own the school. We knew you would.

A few years from now, you'll be mortified to be seen with us in public. But yesterday you gave us both big hugs without hesitation, and even consented to having your picture taken in your new back-to-school outfit.

We've worked hard to give you a world that makes sense. You're going to start to see that some of the world doesn't make sense. Some kids will be mean just to be mean. Sometimes you'll have to do things that don't make sense, just because someone else thinks they do. Sometimes bad things happen, even when you're being good. It's a hard lesson, but you're a strong girl. You'll get through it. We'll help as we can. And maybe, if we're really lucky, you'll never stop being a little bit shocked at some of the meanness you'll see. You'll carry with you the emotional memory of living in a world that makes sense, and use your incredible strength to recreate that for others.

But there's time for that later.

We're so happy for you, and so proud. When you get older, you'll understand why we were a little weepy yesterday.