A Letter to My Daughter Finishing Kindergarten



A Letter to My Daughter Finishing KindergartenYou have come the end of your time as a kindergartner. Since you are my firstborn, this has been a year of firsts for both of us. I still remember the breathless, panicky feeling of walking away from your classroom that first day and yet, here we are nearing the end, looking forward to summer and swimming pools and camps and then… first grade. There are things from this year you will undoubtedly forget; my own memories of kindergarten are hazy at best, often supplied by my own mother.

But I hope there are things you hang on to from this year as you continue in your education and in your life:

  • You love school; continue to be grateful for it. You jump from the van with a smile and a wave almost every day. You counted down the days of spring break, eager to return to your teacher and your friends. You are excited to learn, soaking in reading and writing like a sponge. Your eager, positive attitude will serve you well if you can hang on to it when the going gets a little tougher.
  • Everyone in your class is your friend. You adore the girl in your class who is learning English and the little boy who changed classes later in the year. You have begged me to get the phone numbers for boys and girls alike, and I doubt you even notice their race or background. You tell me about sitting with a new friends at lunch all the time. You write notes and draw pictures for your classmates with hearts and smiles and Xs and Os. It seems natural to you now. It won’t one day. But try to remember that you are really all the same, and you are all there to learn with and from each other.
  • You can do hard things. From word problems to new scales in piano lessons to roller skating, you face your challenges with positivity and determination. You are learning how to work through frustration when things don’t come easily to you. It is still your first instinct to have confidence in yourself, and that too will stop coming so easily after a while. You will have to actively remind yourself that you are capable and brave and strong and smart.
  • You will never be perfect. You told me about halfway through the year that you were never going to get anything but green on the behavior chart (the color for exceptional behavior). We talked about expectations and that it was ok to have off days. I was proud of you for recognizing that it was important to behave well and the value of success, but I never want you to feel badly for falling short every now and then, or to look down on people that may struggle with things that come easily to you. All I want is for you to do the best you can do.
  • Your family is important. As you get older and develop a social life separate from our family unit, I want you to remember that we are the people who know and love you best. Right now you miss us, and you are envious of the time your brother and sister have to go to the library and the museum when you are at school. You seek the approval of your dad and me above your peers and your teachers. I know this will shift and change your whole life, and one day you will push back against us, but I hope you remember that you always have us behind you, cheering you on and catching you when you stumble.

I couldn’t be more proud of the girl you are growing into and how you have risen to the challenge of school both academically and socially. First grade will bring new challenges, new friends, new teachers and new lessons to be learned. Remember, before anything else, to be brave and kind. Listen to the little voice in your head and your heart that tells you to sit with the lonely kids, stand up to bullies, and be respectful even when others are not. You have a big, generous heart and an eager, growing mind and I know you will continue to make us, and yourself, proud.


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