As most kids are already back in school, my daughter is enjoying a couple weeks more of summer bliss before she heads to Pre-K with her friends. I know it makes me sound like such a dramatic mom when I admit I’ve been a little teary-eyed thinking about this being her last year at her beloved Day School but whew, where does the time go?
While she’s been jumping off the diving board and playing hide and seek with her little brother in the sunshine, I’ve found myself with sacred pockets of time where I've seen how much she’s grown over the summer. She’ll be five next month - yes, she's invited everyone she knows to her mermaid-themed party, including our mail lady - and it’s blowing my mind a little – okay, a lot – how quickly the time goes.
There are some things I want to tell her before she gets back into that school routine, even at the risk of me turning in a puddle of tears. Knowing that she won’t always fit in my lap and hang on my every word, I’m taking this opportunity to share a few lessons I pray she learns during this school year. Truth be told, I’ll be re-learning some of these myself, right alongside her.
So darling, here are a few lessons I hope you learn this year...
Dream big and work hard. You’re a dreamer, my darling, and I pray you never stop dreaming big. Dream those big dreams and get ready to work hard to make them a reality – we’ll all be here to help! You can be anything you want to be with a lot of prayer and hard work. Do your best every day, whether it’s on the playground or in the classroom, and know that is enough.
Be a good friend. Seek out friends who make you laugh, treat others with respect, and feel like magic. Be the girl who plays with everyone on the playground and is the first to sit down next to the kid eating lunch alone. A little encouragement goes a long way, so don’t be afraid to give someone a compliment or a hug. Friends will build you up and be there to cheer you on through every phase of your life.
Be brave and try new things. It's so exciting to go back to school after last year being such a rollercoaster thanks to a pandemic and sure, you might feel a little nervous from time to time. Put on your big girl pants and remember that God has given you the power to be brave.
It’s more than okay to fail. You will not be great at everything and that is okay. It’s the trying that is the most important part. Keep trying, and pay attention to what you learn about yourself when it doesn’t work out. Or you miss the mark. That’s where the growth happens. Perfection is an illusion. Practice does not make perfect – it makes you better. Strive for continuous improvement and do ordinary things extraordinarily well.
Be kind – to everyone. Treat everyone like it’s their birthday and treat everyone like you want to be treated. Remember, we all have bad days and sometimes we hold feelings in, so always be extra kind to everyone. If you see someone being unkind to a friend, step in to stand up for that friend. A little empathy and a big does of kindness make the world a better place.