As I sit here, gazing at you, I am reminded of your toothless kindergarten grin, staring at me from behind the lens of my camera, waiting to ride the school bus for the first time.
The first time on the big kid yellow bus…
Do you remember the thrill, as you climbed the large steps with your backpack weighing you down?
As I choked back some tears, watching the bus slowly roll up our road with your sisters grasping my hands, the paths of many firsts and letting go began.
Well, I guess heading off to college is a year of firsts as well, just like kindergarten.
Do you feel it?
The little flutters of excitement and nervousness for all of the firsts?
The first time sleeping in a dorm room and not across the hall from your sister…
The first time walking into the dining hall while wondering where to sit…
The first time meeting a professor and fostering a trust and level of respect…
The first time meeting new faces with pure excitement about the journey ahead together…
A fresh start.
A new beginning.
A year of firsts.
But sweet girl, your mama is going to have a year of firsts too.
Once I close the dorm room door and drive away, my firsts begin.
And just as I had butterflies, in the pit of my stomach, the night before your first day of kindergarten, I can already feel the flutters building and getting stronger as the day closing the door room door gets closer.
The first time eating at the dinner table without you there.
The first time not hearing every detail of your day in person.
The first time not putting on a load of your laundry.
So as the year of firsts gets closer, I keep going back to the night before your first day of kindergarten…
As we sat on your pink flowered carpet sitting criss cross applesauce, we giggled and talked about the many firsts to come and some goals for kindergarten.
3 Rules for Kindergarten
1. Smile at a new friend each day.
2. Be yourself.
3. Wash your hands before you eat your snack.
So here we are, full circle, and life’s simple rules for kindergarten still apply today as you head off to college.
My hope is for all of your firsts to be filled with wonder and your new path to be filled with the same excitement you felt, as the toothless girl, entering the big doors of kindergarten.
You are ready, more than ready…
and as you navigate your path don’t forget to make room for the firsts.
The firsts are moments to cherish.
P.S. Don’t forget rule number two. It is invaluable.
This post originally appeared at Hang in There Mama by Ali Flynn, published with permission.