Letters to William Parenting William

First Day of School



We took you to school today. We got you dressed, fed you breakfast, took your picture and whisked you off to a new adventure beyond the reaches of our arms and it seems impossible to believe. In all fairness, you have “been” to school multiple times over the last few months in preparation for this very day. You have walked the halls, played on the playground, and even spent time alone with the teachers in your classroom on several occasions. But today was the day. THE day that you started a journey that will introduce you to a whole new world. You have been in your classroom for an hour now and I am here at home with tears in my eyes, experiencing the full range of first day emotions.


If you asked me a year ago how I would feel on your first day of school, I would have likely said that I was devastated. So sad to be missing out on ANY part of your day, regardless of how little, I couldn’t stomach the thought of giving someone else time that I am so covetous of with you. A year ago, I was already dreading this step, knowing that you would be heading out to a place that mama couldn’t go, for the first time ever in your life. I knew that I would have to demonstrate my faith in more ways than ever and the thought of it turned my stomach. But as I sit here today with these “first day” tears in my eyes, I can honestly say that devastation is the last emotion I feel. The tears of today come from a too quiet house that just isn’t the same without my curly-haired sidekick sidled up next to me, but the feeling I have that overrides every other is one of pure excitement.


I know you are ready for this.


I have watched you grow in confidence over the last few months and become increasingly independent with every step, every task, and every challenge. I have seen the pride overtake your face whenever you do something that you were scared to do or didn’t think you could. I have watched your desire to learn morph into a ravenous hunger that consumes your waking hours. I have noticed that while your nerves said, “I don’t want to go to school” your curiosity for all its secrets made the tears stop the moment you crossed the threshold.


So today when I waved goodbye to you, the smile I had plastered on my face, wasn’t just for your benefit. It was the outward expression of an inward peace I have about all that you are undertaking. When I told you that I want to know if Grumpy the fish was really grumpy, if the playground slide was super fast, what the room smelled like, and if you had a student named Marsupial in your class, I meant it. Because I do. I want to know every detail of your days and can hardly wait to hear of your adventures. I know you are going to revel in your new world and I feel privileged to be the listening ears for all that is to come. In the same breath however, I also know that memories and moments are about to unfold that I will never get to hear about because this is YOUR adventure. You are stepping out on your own and that means you get to see, hear, and do things that are yours alone. So while my mama heart cringes a little bit at the initiation of this new chapter, my teacher heart says YES. Go do it, sweet boy. Soak it up. Run fast, try hard, find new friends, create, explore, and make mistakes. Be brave, laugh uncontrollably, feel deeply, and give yourself grace. Grow, flourish, be challenged, and don’t be afraid to fail. Be ALL in, engaged, and truly present in every moment because you have a mama and dada who adore you, believe in you, and know that in every sense you are going to ROCK this.


More than anything else, know that you are purely loved…by me, by Dada, and by the God who put you together so perfectly. Know that the successes, failures, challenges, and victories held within the year ahead will never add to or diminish the love we have for you. Be YOU, precious boy, and we will cherish our view as we watch the world be gloriously changed as a result.