Posted on August 22, 2012


dear silly monkey –

first grade.  FIRST GRADE.  OMG MY BABY IS IN FIRST GRADE!!!  today, you are entering the world of real-real school.  sure, kindergarten was real school.  but first grade begins the path of twelve grades that will teach you, cultivate you and make you realize just how much this world can offer you. 

so, in typical mommy fashion, here are three things i would like to apologize for:

1.  i’m sorry for hugging you and messing up your hair.  i’m your mommy.  it’s my job.  and it’s difficult for me to let you go and be a big boy in the evenBIGGER world.  part of me knows you will always need me, but the other part – the part that wants to hold you and squeeze  you and never let go – that part worries that you won’t need me.  and it makes me want to hold you more and longer.  and squeeze you tighter and harder.  i’m working on it.  i’ll get there.

2.  i’m sorry i made you stand outside the school so i could take a plethora of pictures with you holding your backpack and super cool new spider man lunch box.   thank you for understanding that when i say “if i get just one good one, we can be done”, i really mean “if i get just one good one, i’ll keep pressing for more until you get super-duper annoyed and throw your hands up over your face.  again, i’m your mommy.  it’s my job.  and thank you for humoring me with twenty of the same pose, all with amazingly handsome smiles.   

3.  i’m sorry i whispered in your ear that i was going to cry.  it’s not your problem that your mommy has a hard time watching you grow up.  it’s not a bad thing, at all.  in fact, it is exponentially good and happy and serves to reach the greatest goal.  your ultimate success.

and here are three things i want you to remember, forever:

1.  never look in your lunch box while i’m standing next to you and exclaim, “awww man.  i didn’t want a sandwich.”  you are always going to get a sandwich of some sort, you picky-picky child.  you need protein.  and lunches are meant to be satisfying and healthy.  not a box full of snacks.   {and a second/side note:  appreciate that i did pack all of your other favorites – an apple bar.  chocolate chip bunny cookies.  strawberries!}

2.  hate is a strong word.  and you do not hate school b/c if you truly hated school, you would not have walked into that building without running back.  or even looking back.  change will happen no matter how much we try to resist it.  so just stop resisting it and all will go much more smoothly.  sure, it’ll make me cry more, but you’ll be a whole lot better for it.  plus, you have twelve more years of school ahead of you before you go to college for four years and then grad school for even more.  embrace it.  love it. 

3.  you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.  ok, so i stole that from an old winnie-the-pooh book, but IT’S TOTALLY TRUE!!  and i know this b/c i have stood before you as you took your first breath, took your first steps and spoke your first words.  the world is undoubtedly a scary, scary place, but realizing the bravery you hold, the strength you possess and the smarts you grasp, will lead you light years ahead. 

and then, of course, there’s all this mushy stuff to say…

i wrote out four different cards before the final one eventually ended up in your lunch box.  it said, if you recall, “i love you.  have a good day.”  the other three were weepy and ridiculous.  i’m not sure you would have actually been able to decipher any of the words b/c my hand was shaking while i attempted to use my best first grade penmanship.  and when i handed you your backpack and your lunchbox, then gave you a big squeeze before you happily walked into first grade, all i could think was – “what happened to my baby?  my itty bitty silly monkey?  my little boy who would never leave my side, would never let go of my hand, thought i hung the moon?” 

and suddenly, i realized… i am braver than i am, stronger than i seem and smarter than i think.  you are still my baby.  you will always be my itty bitty silly monkey.  and no matter that you aren’t so little, you still would never leave my side or let go of my hand.  and i’m pretty darn sure you still think i hung the moon. 

b/c how much do i love you?  to the moon and back… moon and back… moon and back.   

i love you with my whole heart.  more than anything else in this entire world.  and i could be no prouder to be your mama.


p.s.  bill told me to “man up” so i didn’t cry.  i really wanted to though.  and i almost did.  but he bribed me with french toast.  with granola.  and we all know how that makes my tears dry up like the desert.  but it doesn’t mean i’m not crying now.  b/c i am.  i’m done “manning up” – it doesn’t suit me.