To My Daughter, On Your First Day of Kindergarten

My sweet girl,

You're starting Kindergarten today. 

I know you're taking it in stride. You're pretty good at being carefree.

But guess who isn't very good at that? Yep, your mom. Me. And I'm kind of freaking out about the fact that you're starting Kindergarten today.

I mean, for one thing, you're not even my oldest kid. Something about not being the oldest has kind of cemented you as a "baby" in my mind. I look back on your baby pictures and they feel so familiar, so recent. That is you, my tiny baby with the red face and the dark, curly hair. I look at those pictures and I look at you now and I just think, "When did this happen?"

But of course, it did happen. You're a little girl now, with hair past your shoulders and a sprinkling of freckles across your nose and on the tops of your cheeks. You squint when you smile, just like me. And when something goes wrong for you, you act as if the world ends (which, okay, maybe also came from me).

And today you're going to school. Real, big girl school. You've got new shoes, a purple lunchbox (of course), and a backpack that almost reaches your knees. You're ready...right?

I know you are. At least academically. You're a smart girl, do you know that? Like, you're actually really, really smart. Mommy sometimes feels weird talking about it because I'm worried it'll sound like bragging. That's how smart I think you are. 

And your passion for life is just unparalleled. You hug like you mean it, you bounce when you're excited, and you laugh with your entire face. 

So I know you'll do fine. But here's the thing: school is a totally different world. A lot of new things are going to happen to you in the next several years, and there are a few things I want you to remember. You ready?


Be nice. Sometimes, other kids won't be nice. Sometimes, they'll be really mean. That's too bad, and you can't really change that. All you can do is make sure that YOU are nice. To everyone. Always. Don't laugh at other people. Don't say you don't want to play with someone. Don't fight. Even (and especially) if you see someone else being mean, just be nice.

Be friends with your teacher. I know grownups are a little intimidating, but your teacher is there to help you learn. Don't be afraid of her. Listen to her and always follow her directions. Ask her for help if you need it. If you don't understand something, ask. Be her friend and she'll help you however she can.

It's okay to make mistakes. You are a smart girl and you're going to be just fine in school. Make sure that when something is hard, you focus on learning it, and not just on getting it done. Take your time. You don't have to be perfect. You'll make mistakes and that's okay. It's how we learn!

Be you. You are a friendly, happy girl and you have so much to offer the world. Don't let other people make you feel bad about yourself. Don't let other kids talk you into doing something you know is wrong. Just be you. I promise it will all be okay.


It's hard for Mommy to let you go. I look back on the five years I've had with you and I feel happy and sad at the same time; you bring so much joy into my life, and it's hard to even let you take a little tiny step away from me. 

But I'm right here, okay? If someone is mean to you, or if you don't understand something, or if you just want to sit on my lap and snuggle a bit because you need to feel like a baby again...I can help. 

I can always help.

Love you, Char Char.