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Dear pre-k teachers: I hope you see her

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In the blink of an eye, I will be sending my girl off to Pre-K. While this isn't her first experience with school, this year is pulling at my heartstrings a little more. Maybe because I know at the end of the year I will be staring at a grade schooler. She (and I) will be saying goodbye to the pre-school phase and also some of the magic of being a kid. Once she enters kindergarten, I know she will have responsibilities and too old for her worries that I will need to help her work through.

But that is the future. Right now she's still my little four-year-old, full of wonder and excitement and emotions. Big emotions. As I turn her over into your very loving and capable hands, all I ask is that you see her.

I hope that you see how funny she is. Oh my, she is so funny. She likes to tell these jokes that make no sense at all. Jokes like...Why did I put my shoe on? To go for a walk. Then she makes the wahka wahka sound like Fozzy from the Muppet Babies. She giggles and giggles. You will fall in love with her laugh. I hope that you remember this giggle when her emotions get the best of her and her giggles turn to shouts. She will need you to help get her feelings in check. Usually, a big hug does the trick, just saying.

I hope that you see how she notices everything and everyone. She will remember when someone was absent, what they were wearing, and something that happened a week ago. She pays attention to things that matter to her, and you will matter to her. But she IS paying attention, even when it seems like she isn't. I hope that you remember this when she is fidgeting on the carpet or wandering away from the group.

I hope you see how she loves big. She has this ability to make an instant connection with someone. It could be a distant relative, a kid her age, or a teacher. Everyone is her best friend...unless they aren't. As quickly as she can make a connection is as quickly as she can distance herself from others. She's not a joiner and would prefer to play alone or with one of her "best friends." She will need you to show her how to play, how to join, and how to include.

I hope you see her independence as a strength and a gift. I always encouraged her to make choices, be open with her likes and dislikes, and to use her words to get what she wants. She will use these words, and she will use them a lot. She will need you to show her how to use these words with her friends, to tell and ask politely, and to speak love to everyone.

I hope you see that no matter how hard she tries or how many good days she has, those not so good, terrible, rotten, awful days sneak in there. These days will test every single patient bone in your body. On these days I hope that you love her through it. When it's hard (and it will get hard) show her an abundance of grace.

I know you are pros, but this Mama's heart just needed to say that I hope that you see her for all that she is and all that she is capable of being. And I will be right there, cheering you on and supporting you because I see you. I see the love, patience, determination, and heart that you pour into kids every day. I couldn't do this without you.

Love,

A Grateful Mama

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