To my little girl,
Tomorrow you start 1st grade and I am amazed at how quickly this point in your life has arrived. As I tucked you in and kissed your sleepy head goodnight, I was reminded how each day goes by quicker than the day before. Every day I learn some new and exciting aspect of you and your personality and yet I feel I know you better than I know myself.
I can feel your independence from me increasing.....and I fight the urge to pull you back.
Last night we met your new teacher and I think that it just might be possible that we, some way, some how, hit the jackpot for the last two years in the teacher department. She couldn't be any sweeter and I know that this, too, will be a good year.
Mrs. D sent home materials last night and as your daddy and I looked through them one thing became apparent......when you need help with your homework, you are going to have to look elsewhere. The things they are teaching in the first grade this year are things that we learned (and have since forgot) in high school.
Fractions and graphing......1st grade. Really?
One homework assignment that I think that we have done OK on so far was a questionnaire about you.
That is right, you.
The first question was "What are 1-3 things that your child is interested in?" I quickly jotted down what I thought was the "correct" answer and then quizzed your daddy to see if he agreed. I covered my answers so that he couldn't cheat and waited for his reply. Do you know what? We were RIGHT ON!
After giving each other high fives we decided that before we got too carried away that we might want to actually run this question by you. What a concept, right? Asking YOU what you were interested in.
Do you know what? Your daddy and I "rock". (His words, not mine.) Your answers were the exact same. 1) Horses 2) Taylor Swift and 3) Cats, or more specifically, kittens.
Other questions were a bit more introspective and since it was, in fact, to be answered by a parent, I decided to be as honest as I could.
Mrs. D wanted to know what you, Miss L, are afraid of. Initially I found myself thinking about how you really, truly, are fearless about many things. You don't like showing weakness and you try to appear tough....even when you are feeling anything but. However, you are afraid of something (even if you say you are not) and it is failure. I see you pulling back if you think that you might not be the best at something. You are fiercely competitive and hate to lose...even if it means you don't compete at all.
You must get THAT from your father.
We are working on this though, aren't we? I hope that someday that you learn that the honest effort that you put into something is all that really counts.
So I warned Mrs. D (in not as many words) about this fear of yours....and about the only other fear I am aware that you have, even though it might not be relevant. Yep, that's right. Snakes. You are fiercely afraid of snakes.
Your teacher also wanted to know what I thought were your strengths and to be honest, she didn't leave enough room. I might possibly be biased, but I think that your strengths outnumber the stars. You are determined, and ambitious. You are funny and driven. You have a sense of right and wrong and you love with all your heart.
When answering her question I couldn't help but think about you and the time that your determination and resolve shined the brightest. At the ripe old age of (barely) five, you had watched a show on training horses on TV. This show outlined how to take a horse and get them to lead into a trailer.
You thought this looked like something you could teach Peanut to do and so you set out to do it. One small difference. Instead of loading Peanut into a stock trailer, you taught her to stand on a tilt trailer with no sides. Your daddy said the only thing you needed his help with was catching Peanut and and putting her halter on. After that, the only hands on training Peanut got, was from you.
Although my heart is a little heavy with this passing of time, I am truly anxious to see what adventures you will go on, and what discoveries you will make, this, your 1st grade, year.
I am sure that what you will teach me will far outweigh what you - yourself, will learn.
I love you more than your mind can possibly imagine or comprehend.
Thank you for being you.
Hugs and Kisses,