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Challenge: It's Back to School: Share Your Advice

To my daughter as she turns six: 'We got this'

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Hey babe, you're about to start 1st grade. You're about to have a whole full day of school for the very first time.

No more pre-k coddling. No more breezy, sweet and short kindergarten days.

This is it.

You're going to be out of my sight now for so many hours compared to before. I'll probably think of you every minute of every hour — at least for the first week.

I already know I'm going to take this much harder than you. I already know I'm going to weep on the first day.

You look older than you really are. You are getting unbelievably tall. You are undeniably sharp. To me, you are a creation which knows no bounds.

This is 6.

This is me letting go of walking you as far up to the classroom as I can, standing there watching you make your way into the playground, and then lingering some more to check and see if anyone is playing with you.

Oh, how I worry if you will make friends. Oh, how I worry if you will be kind.

Gone are the days of bottles, naps, and diaper changes. Gone are the days of having you completely in my grasp.

I remember how I could not wait for this. I could not wait just to have some peace and quiet without the endless chattering and noise.

And now it's here.

This is 6.

This is you becoming a "big kid". This is you having to find your way to the bathroom by yourself at school. This is you having to find a friend to sit with in the cafeteria by yourself. This is you having so much more responsibility and pressure than you are used to.

But I know you are ready. You are climbing the walls to grow up. You are impatient for new challenges. You are phenomenal in your thirst for life.

But I will still worry about your confidence, your behavior — if anyone makes fun of you for any reason. I will worry about your reaction to the "mean kids". And I will try to help you not become one yourself.

I will glance at the clock throughout the day and know you are on your own, out of my sight, in the care of others, and learning how to socially survive without my constant guidance or my stern voice telling you, "No."

This is 6.

This is us moving on. This is my baby growing those wings out further. This is my heart breaking both with pride and grief. This is me being ridiculously emotional.

Fly on, sweet daughter. We got this.

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