Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Dear Kindergarten Teacher

A new school year is upon is. I'm sure you're a mixture of nervous and excited as a new group of 5 year olds join your classroom for the next 10 months. It's another year of putting faces to names and deciphering each child's individual learning needs and learning to read each kid's personality.

There's a couple things you should know about Aubrey.

You should know that she has a very strong desire to learn everything about anything. The number of questions she asks in a day is astounding. Some find it annoying. I see it as her trying to soak in everything humanly possible. She will probably have a question about everything you talk about. 

You should know that she has a speech delay. Up until about a year ago, she barely spoke to anyone but me and Keith, and occasionally her aunts and grandparents. She had the thoughts and couldn't get the words out in a way that people would understand. This caused her to hole up and ignore anyone who tried to talk to her. She has come very far in the past year and has blossomed into a whole new kid, but she is still working on her speech and still has some sounds that are hard to decipher. Please be patient with her. It breaks my heart to see her upset when she isn't understood.

You should know that she takes a minute to look at the camera for a picture. So if you could, take a couple extras. I promise the sweet picture you get as an end result is well worth it.

You should know that that little girl is my whole world. From the moment I found out I was pregnant with her, she consumed my life. I debated over nursery fabrics. I babyproofed my apartment. In the car I replaced Eminem with Laurie Berkner, and at home I replaced Sex and the City with endless repeats of Toy Story (1, 2 and 3. I'm pretty sure I could recite each of them from beginning to end). I scoured every weekly email that compared her to the size of a poppy seed. A peach. A zucchini. A watermelon. 

And ever since that watermelon was placed into my arms for the first time, I dreaded this day. Between then and now, I was always able to hold her hand through it all. Once she walks through that classroom door, I share her life with you. 

We got a chance to see you and your classroom today, and some of those feelings of dread were replaced with excitement. Because I saw the way her face lit up when she saw that she was seated next to her friend that she met at the playground yesterday during the Kindergarten Meet-Up.

I saw her eyes fill with wonder as she fingered through the books in your mini library and all of the ways you incorporate each child's name into your classroom.

I saw the proud look she gave when you promptly hung up the picture that she made for you.

I felt your hand on my shoulder as I watched her do one of your open house activities, deciding whether or not I was going to let a tear fall. I saw the look of acceptance she felt when she was explaining the picture to you and you listened and asked questions.

You get it. I know you do. I'm sure you deal with parents like me every year. Parents who are ready to see their child, who they spent the last 5 years putting their blood, sweat and tears into, spread their wings and blossom into mini adults.. but at the same time want to take that child home and just forget about this whole "kindergarten" thing. Parents who have seriously considered homeschooling just for those extra hours in the day. But in the end, I know she's in good hands. 

Here's to an amazing year. 

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