Oh my girl, I’m sitting here on the couch, watching tv and you’re fast asleep upstairs in your bed. This is a pretty common scenario in our house in the evenings, but the difference is that tomorrow kind of changes everything.
You start school tomorrow kiddo, and well, it’s kind of turning this momma heart a bit upside down tonight.
Partly because you’re STILL THREE. And will be for a while (yes, your Christmas Eve birthday does make this a reality). And it’s kind of hard for me to picture my 3.75 year old heading out of the house all day every day to hang out with 25 other people than me.
And partly because I don’t think a momma’s heart is ever supposed to be truly ready to let their kids’ world expand beyond our reach. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s healthy, and normal, and part of me is so excited to see you learn new things, meet new people and face new struggles that will form and shape your character, but that doesn’t make it easy. Starting tomorrow you will have regular experiences that we don’t share, and I will have to wait for you to come home, and sit on my lap and express in your best, articulate 3 year old way to tell me the stories of your day. The stories that you choose to share with me.
Ellie, know that I am so excited for you. I love who you continue to grow into, and can’t wait for others to get to know you.
And if I’m being honest, I’m a little bit nervous. You are gentle, and have a sensitive spirit and you won’t be the loudest voice in the room (at least, not at first), and I hope others appreciate those qualities in you.
And Ellie, it’s hard to share in words with someone who is 3 all the things I hope you know. And so I’ll write some of those things here, and when you read this letter, probably many years from now, I pray that you will have come to learn and know these things deeply.
- You are beautiful. Truly you are. You have an outward beauty that stuns me, but more importantly, you have an inner beauty and you SHINE. You are gentle, and wise. You love fiercely. You laugh loudly and often, and get joy out of making others smile. Never doubt the truth that you have a beautiful character.
- God is closer to you than you’ll ever know. Ellie – our goal is to pray with you every day before we send you into your class, and I pray so often that you can just know and sense how real God is and how close He is. You will have days where you are scared, and sad, and hurt and lonely. But know that even though mom and dad can’t hang out with you at school, Jesus sure is.
- Be brave. Sometimes you are timid as you scope things out. This is ok. But my favourite moments are when you choose to do something you’ve never done before, and the big smile that creeps across your face when you realize how awesome it was. Do more of those things. We will celebrate your courage and the failures that your courage may bring.
- We have got your back. For reals. Your dad and I are always always always in your corner. And I can already tell that you won’t be our kid that spills every detail of your day to us, but know that when we ask, it’s because we just want to find more things to cheer about, or coach you on, or pray about as we stand in your corner. There is absolutely no mistake, or embarrassment or experience that you have that will ever change that fact.
- You are a child of God. That’s the most important. You will become more and more things as you get older, and spend more time at school. A friend, a classmate, an athlete/actor/artist/etc, and more and more people will try to tell you what to be. Be lots of things, but know that first and foremost, you are God’s child, and kiddo -the freedom that can come from knowing this truth is ASTOUNDING.
Ok Ellie – I should wrap this up, because tomorrow will be a shock to all of our “we-like-to-sleep-in” systems, but my girl I am so dang proud to call you my daughter and will hold your hand a little tighter as we walk to school tomorrow.