To Eli, on your first day of schoolWednesday, September 07, 2016
Tomorrow you start primary. After breakfast, we'll walk to school together. We'll go to the gym, figure out who your teacher is, and hug goodbye, and just like that, you'll be an elementary school student. I'm not sure how this happened so quickly. Last week you were a teeny baby. Now you're building the Millenium Falcon out of Lego, you've got a soccer medal, you know how to make your own sandwiches for lunch.
I'm excited for you to go to school. The friends you'll make! The things you'll learn! I hope you make friends easily. I think you will. You've always been outgoing, friendly, warm, and empathetic - all attributes that will serve you well on the playground now and, someday, in your professional life too. You never forget a name or a face - how many adults can say the same?
I can't wait to see you learn: to really start to read, to bring home projects you've finished, to talk to us about your favourite books and favourite school subjects. I'm excited to meet your teachers and go to your first Christmas concert and help you with your homework. I think you're really going to like school - you're curious by nature and ask a million questions.
I love our times together: our kitchen dance parties, baking cookies with you, our walks in the woods where you often lag behind but once in a while still reach for my hand. I know there's going to be a last time for this - you're going to be too big, holding Mom's hand is for babies - but whenever you want to hold hands, I'm here.
I hope you have the confidence to say no when other kids are doing stupid things. I've seen you in groups and how you gravitate to the showboat kids, and I hope, hope, hope you remember what's right and what's wrong and that you don't always have to go along. Not everyone can be a leader, but I hope you know it's OK to do your own thing when something doesn't feel right.
Most of all, I want you to know you can always come to me with any question, any problem, any worry or concern. Big or small, I want to hear about it. Whether some kid's being a punk, or you don't understand the new math, or you don't want any more ham and cheese sandwiches in your lunch, I hope you're comfortable talking to me about whatever's bugging you, now and when you're big.
I'm excited for this new big adventure for you. You're going to do great. I love you and I can't wait to see the things you accomplish and what you become*.
(*You're going to own a vineyard and Henry's going to be an orthodontist. We've talked about this.)