You start Kindergarten in five days. Your excitement level and anxiety level are both though the roof, although you'll only talk about the excitement. We see the anxiety play out in ways only your parents know. We will meet your teacher today, and I've been praying for him. As a teacher, I can imagine that you are fun to have in class but not always easy!
You'll spend most of the school day with your typical peers. This makes me so excited and so scared. I want you to have good friends. I want you to continue to love school. As hard as your last day of preK was, I hope I again have to drag you away from friends, sad because school is over. I'll take that over first-day tears any day.
You've done well with school so far. You love it. You talk about school every single day, and you have since your first day of school when you turned two and a half. Kindergarten will be your fourth year in public school, so in some ways you have a big advantage.
I'm not worried about you being gone all day, although I think Caroline will be a little lost at first. I'm not worried about you speaking up for yourself, other than concern you'll over-do it! (Last night you told me you would be putting your teacher in time out.... again, praying for him!) I'm not worried about you running off or getting lost.
I worry about you finding that quality group of friends, especially because you'll be at a different school from all your preK classmates. I worry about you being away from your best buddy from school after three years together. I think you'll miss him a lot. I worry about you trying even when writing or math is hard, and I worry that you'll be overwhelmed with lots of kids and afraid to read in class or raise your hand.
I worry a little bit about you being made fun of, but mostly I worry about you getting overlooked.
The only concern you've voiced is being away from some specific friends from preK. I am so proud of how hard you've worked to communicate clearly, but I also know that there are things you don't have the words for or don't want to talk about. I can tell you're worried about other things, too. Transitions are hard for you.
But I also know YOU are ready to soar. You walked into summer school without saying goodbye to me. You know a few kids from summer school who will be at your school, and I hope in your class.
Just over five years since your heart was repaired, you're starting "real" school. My current concerns seem so little when I remember that tiny baby in a hospital bed about five years ago!
Lately we've been fundraising for your Buddy Walk team, which benefits our local Down syndrome group. We raised enough to get a sign with your picture on it. The signs all say "I am ____." I asked you what your sign you say and you confidently yelled, "I AM SO BRAVE!!!!"
You're going to do great. I'm sure there will be bumps along the road, because there are for any kid starting kindergarten. I love you. I have a feeling you'll bounce into school Tuesday while your mommy sheds a little tear or two. (And we'll see how Daddy does!)
I love you, Ellie. Be kind. Enjoy learning. Have fun. And please try to listen.