Monday, August 25, 2014

Reflections on the Last First Day of School

A Letter to My Dear Girl, on her last first day of school.

Here you are at the beginning of your senior year. You are beautiful, smart, confident and so full of potential. I find I am feeling both proud and a bit melancholy - it is a set of emotions that I think I will become accustomed to over the course of this important year. In some ways it is amazing to find you so grown up so quickly. It seems like it was just two blinks ago you were just a wee thing.
You were as much of a spunky spitfire then as you are now - I love that about you.

Your poise and resourcefulness are a result of the hard work and hard things you have experienced in your life. Value those hard-earned qualities. They will serve you well, if you let them.

I look at you and see how well you know yourself; how comfortable you are in your own person. You have the confidence and personal strength to consider options and adventures that I would not have even dared to dream of when I was your age. It is so exciting to think about all of the adventures and opportunities before you. It is all so exciting!

I love how you are reflective and thoughtful. I love how organized and detail oriented you are. And my, you can throw such a good event.

I love how tough you are. You can have a very serious injury from an accident in practice, or a race and still get up and keep going. That quality will serve you well in life whether those injuries be physical or emotional.

Even with all of this, there are significant moments of doubt, but remember, comparison is the thief of joy. That doubt makes you human and humble. Doubt is a normal emotion. Use it to reflect and grow, and not as a tool to tear yourself down.

On Sunday as we ate lunch after a short shopping trip you casually mentioned that that day may be your last day of summer break, ever. That took me aback a bit, both the comment and the comfortable ease with which you spoke it. You seemed so comfortable with the idea, content with how your free days had been spent (for the most part.) My own reaction was a very different one. Since I had already gone back to school, that perspective had not occurred to me. If it had, I would have tried to make a special deal of the day. If I had, I know that you would have appreciated my efforts. You are so good about things like that - taking the time to appreciate and love what others do for you. I appreciate that you chose to spend the day with me and what a pleasant one it was. Know that I know that many young people your age do not like to spend time with their parents; I am so thankful that you love spending time with us, just as we love being with you. What a gift that is for all of us.

As you become more and more independent know that we will always be here, cheering you on, offering you an ear to help you process things and a shoulder to cry on. Things will not always go your way. You will stumble. You will fall and you will make big errors that you will regret. We all do this. What is important is how you deal with them.

We love you, support you and are proud of you. You are our miracle girl! Here's to the future you will create for yourself!

Much love,

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