Dear Grace -
We are in the final week of your last summer before you start kindergarten. As it approaches, I’ve been reflecting on life, growing up and you.
Let’s start with you.
You are one spirited child. I think of you as my sunshine — light-up-my day, warm-my-heart, grow-my-love kind of sunshine. I know I’m your Mom and you’ll think I’m just biased (which, for the record, I’m not - you and your sister are indeed the coolest, smartest, funniest kids that have ever walked this Earth), but I’ve heard this from others as well. When you walk in a room, you bring a lightness with you that leaves everyone smiling.
Now, truth be told, you also can be my thunderstorm — full of lightning strikes and loud claps of thunder (that sound surprisingly like feet stomping) — but we don’t have to go too deep into that. Suffice to say, you are well versed in throwing fits. But we’re working on it. Multiple times a day.
I have always admired the way you are unapologetically yourself. You know what you like, what you dislike and you never feel the need to change for anyone. Although at times I wish you’d bend to my will more, I know this trait will serve you well later in life. Keep being you, little one, for as long as you can (for forever, hopefully) and sharing that with the world.
You are growing up so fast. In some ways, it’s positive — you love to help around the house and at the grocery store. In some ways, it’s, well, less than positive: slamming doors during a fit of rage, sassily saying “I know, Mom!!” in a fit of rage, laying down on the floor kicking your feet in a fit of rage — I’m detecting a pattern here.
But there are still times that I see my little toddler in there. The one who said I was her “beff friend.” The one who would every single morning crawl into my side of the bed and just press her little warm body against mom, wrapping her delicate little arms around me. I can tell you’re struggling between that little preschool girl and this more grown up version, who “loves fashion” and wants “alone time.”
I know we are just beginning that struggle and that it will likely last for the next couple of decades. As you continue to grow and mature, I will be here watching this transformation. Sometimes with sadness, sometimes with joy, sometimes with anger, always with love. And no matter how many slammed doors or rolled eyes or sassy comebacks, I’ll always be here. I’ll be waiting for you to discover the world and yourself and I’ll be anxiously waiting to hear all about it when you do.
Now, Kindergarten. It’s a new world — with new teachers to know, new friends to make, new lunches to try. You’ll have good days and bad days (hopefully more good) — days you are so excited to share what happened and days you just want to cry (maybe because of new lunches). But knowing you, you’ll continue to share your bright spirit with those around you, which is exactly what you should do because don’t we all need a little more sunshine in our lives?
Love you, Gracie Girl.