I sit here on the eve of a big day. Our first child starts her very first day of school with us here at Carol Morgan School… and I want to throw up just thinking about it. We moved to this new country 5 years ago, Rafa still safe in my belly, 8 weeks left for her arrival. I couldn’t imagine, then, anything other than how we would keep her alive. I’m the kind of person who buys a new face wash and reads the directions 3 times, carefully, before using it to make sure I’m using it correctly. A baby? No directions? How would I ever know what to do with her?
But we slowly figured it out after she was born. Soon she was 18 months old and seemed like a boulder next to her new baby brother. I realize now how very not big she was, but in comparison – at the time – she might as well have been a teenager. I turned around and she was 3. We attempted to put her in a nursery school nearby and I wanted to turn around the entire way there. But when it was time to say goodbye, she cried. A teacher carried her away and I wailed an ugly mom cry for blocks. It was a major fail. She did not go back – that year or the next. I know, I know – they grow up and I can’t stop it, but I’m also not in any rush. She was home with her brother, playing with friends, and taking art classes; she’d be in school for plenty of years, soon enough.
And now I stare at our (1 month shy of) 5-year old, on the eve of her very first day of school – heck, on the eve of our very first day of school – and her 3-year old brother, who by default will go to (that same aforementioned) Pre-k twice a week – and so many words and lessons and hopes scramble about in my mind like that Sizzler ride at carnivals.
I want them to know how lucky they are to have an education. I hope they will be kind to other kids because there will be some that really need it. And I want them to know that sometimes others will not be kind and will be mean through no fault of theirs. They will be faced with hard choices and I can only hope they make good ones. But these ideas are still so beyond them. They won’t understand half of what I tell them. Sweet Jesus, they won’t even listen to most of it. So I’ve gotta keep it basic because I’ve gotta make it count.
And never, in the history of parenting, has anything been more basic than this:
You are loved.
So To My Dear Sweet Babies,
Many people love you – yes – but I mean these simple words on a much grander scale too. A whole universe conspired out of thin air to make you both and make you uniquely you and only you. It created you out of gold speckles and star dust and our love. You are perfect in design. It is incredible when you think of it that way, isn’t it? That no one else in the whole wide, well, universe, is like you?
Learning your days of the week would be fantastic. Letters and words make wonderful friends. Numbers turn out to be quite useful in life. But if you remember nothing else but how much you are loved on your first days of school or your first year of school, we would be fine with that. No matter where you sit or who you sit by, we will love you. If friends unfriend you, you are still loved. Every day when you walk through our doors, you are home and safe and loved immensely.
You are growing up and our lives are changing but this remains…always.
What one thing would you want your kid to take with them on the first day of school?