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August 23, 2013

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Dear John and Madeleine,

Monday, you head back to school.  After twelve weeks of being at home and traveling, it’s time to get back into a schedule and a routine.  I know it’s a bit hard to think about, after how busy we’ve been this summer.  For the first time, I am not excited about school starting either.  It just seems like it wasn’t quite long enough.  There are still library books to be read, legos to build with, little men to tell stories with.  But, the time has come.  Like it or not, school starts on Monday.

The week before school is always hard.  We hoped Meet the Teacher would alleviate some of our anxiety (my anxiety included with yours), but it hasn’t.  New worries have surfaced.  What if you don’t like your teacher?  What if you don’t have any friends?  What if you don’t learn to read this year?  What if you’re miserable?  What if…..?  I heard many of your worries last night.  Neither of you got the teachers you had hoped for all summer, which doesn’t mean your teachers aren’t good, they’re just not who you were hoping for.  You have many friends with you, and that has helped both of you feel better.

So, I’m writing you this letter, because as you start this school year you’re not particularly looking forward to, I wanted to make sure you have a couple of things to take with you.

I took extra time last night to snuggle with you, and I suspect in the next few days, I will continue to take extra snuggle with you both.  You are not alone, my loves.  You are never alone.  While I can’t go with you, God promises to be there with you all the time.  God will hold you in his hand and you will not ever be alone.  Even if you have a bad day and feel like crying, God is there with you.  Always.

My job is to have your back.  That doesn’t mean that I will defend all your actions and believe you can do no wrong.  I know better than that.  You are both “spirited” and independent.  You both are creative and can find ways to entertain yourself.  That means you may get in trouble sometime.  I will not bail you out if your actions cause consequences you don’t like.

However, if you are miserable, if you dread going to school everyday, if you think you can’t do things or that you’re not smart, I have your back.  It is my job to help you love to learn.  If your teacher discourages your curiosity or puts you down for what you don’t know, I will step in.  I will burn any bridges that may be necessary for my future career, if that’s what’s needed for you to love learning.  I will fight for you and make sure you don’t have a year that makes you lose confidence in yourself.  You’ve both had years like that before and I’ve learned from them.  There is a time to be supportive of the teacher and there are times when I need to be your greatest advocate for your education.

I love you both.  We will walk through this big year together, as a family.  First and third grade are big years.  We will work through our anxieties together, knowing we are not ever alone and that snuggles help us all.  We will find things to be thankful for every day.  You will grow and learn.  You will be wrapped in arms of love, whoever your teacher and friends are.

Love,

Your Mama

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