Tonight I tucked you in with your gajillion stuffed animal friends and after I prayed the blessing over you with my hand still on your forehead I whispered a reminder that tomorrow when you woke up, your first day of school would be officially here.
And it will! September 10th, a date we have had circled on our calendar for weeks now, ever since we got your official school schedule for the fall. Tomorrow will be a half day, a quarter day, I suppose since you are only in half day preschool. But you will be there long enough for me to snap a ton of phone camera pictures, help you find your cubby and make sure you meet up with Ian, who is the only person you know in your class. He will help you, he did three year old preschool and thus is a big stud.
And then I will walk out of the room and hope that the last four years where you and I have spent almost every waking moment together were enough to cement in your brain that you are MY daughter. Grant's and mine. And that means that you are loved beyond your biggest fears, supported beyond your hardest challenges, and believed in beyond your deepest doubts. Preschool isn't too early to begin practicing what you know.
We have raised you to think that other people matter. You are not the center of the universe, remember? So when you see that boy or girl sitting by themselves at snack time, go hang out with them. If you see a kid looking for the bathroom and you know where it is, go show them. Admire someone else's artwork. Tell another girl she looks like a princess, instead of asking her if she thinks you look like one. Talk to everyone, you never know who will end up being a friend.
Enjoy yourself so much. Your hours will be filled to the brim with painting and reading and singing and playing and building and learning. Preschool is going to be fabulous. You and your pink backpack with your name on the back are going to have adventures in rainbow colors.
You are going to be around new people doing new things. And I hate to tell you, but Knox and I aren't going to be sitting around the house all day waiting for you to come back... But the dinosaur museum won't be as noisy without you. And the water tables at the children's museum won't be as crazy without you. And I might start explaining to Knox how the fish flags in the parking lot turn direction when the wind blows, before I realize he didn't ask. That was always your question.
Being a stay at home parent probably means tomorrow is going to be harder for me then other parents who went back to work earlier or more hours. You and I have been together most hours of most days for four years, and I am going to miss having you around. You are the coolest girl I know and I would choose to hang out with you more then all the other girls any day of the week.
You are my daughter. I love you a tremendous amount. And I will be waiting for you every day to come home.
Now with that confidence, freely go out and care for others.
Happy Preschool, my Purslane Claire.