1st Grade

Dear Ellie,


Today is your first day of 1st grade. It feels so much easier than last year to know you will wake up, eat breakfast, put your clothes on and head out the door to school. I know more about this school thing and what it looks like. I’m thankful for that.


You, of course, are excited as ever. You have missed your friends and all that school is. You are planning to wear the same dress you wore the first day of kindergarten, though it is considerably shorter on you and you will need to wear leggings. It is still your favorite dress.


You learned how to read in kindergarten and now love LOVE to read. You proudly declare, to anyone who will listen, that you can read CHAPTER books. I love to walk by your room and see you cozied up with a book. I hope you always love to read and that you continue to be a life long learner. Books are such a gift.


What hasn’t changed about this year is that I will miss you. I have loved this summer with you at home. You and the boys have built endless forts, done 3,000 drawing/color fests (but seriously. What do we do with all of the masterpieces?), and of course had many many fights. I won’t miss the fights. I will miss the sweetness you bring, the good ideas you have, and just your presence.


You lost approximately 7 teeth over the summer, leaving your smile gappy and adorable. You also learned how to whistle (perhaps from the extreme tooth exodus?) Your eyes still reflect every emotion you feel and it’s so fun to watch you tell a story because you are so expressive.


You and Judah were in a wedding a few weeks ago and you had the best time. You both looked adorable in your wedding wear and you took your petal distributing job very seriously. At the reception they had lots of dancing which you and Judah also loved. You were out there with the other flower girl having a  wonderful time on the dance floor.


When the time came for the Parent/bride/groom dances I was in the back trying to keep Annalise quiet. She and I swayed at the back and I found myself glimpsing something that had such depths and that I had never noticed before. Parents saying goodbye to a season. I couldn’t actually look too long because the lump in my throat was so big.


It’s all so good! It’s so good and right for children to grow and become adults and get married. But as I stood there in the back, listening to the words of the song:


Never alone

Never alone

I’ll be in every beat of your heart

When you face the unknown

Wherever you fly

This isn’t goodbye

My love will follow you, stay with you

Baby, you’re never alone – Lady Antebellum


I had to turn away. This parenting thing is so crazy! The love I feel inside for you is so big. It’s such a gift to be your mama, to have this time with you. I can’t lose perspective in the everyday. I can’t forget that my time with you in this season is limited. I cherish you baby girl. So help me, I promise to let you go when the time is right.


I’m thankful I have some years before I have my turn watching you dance with daddy on that special someday. For now my heart can hardly handle the thought. And that’s okay. From now until then I’m going to LOVE this season the way you love reading chapter books. I’m going to soak in the sparkle in your eyes and the gaps in your teeth. I’m going to snuggle you close as much as I can and learn to trust Jesus even more as you have opportunities to fly.


I truly know that seasons are part of the beauty of life. This one feels wrapped around my heart in such a way that I can’t explain. I’ll embrace it. I’ll embrace the lump in my throat and the tears on my cheeks as I write this because it’s evidence of beauty of motherhood. Made to love and protect with our very breath. Made to raise them to fullness and step back and let them go. The diamond tears are okay, the beautiful hurt a memorial stone.


I love you baby girl. Maybe someday you will call me as your baby heads out the door to school and you and we can laugh and cry together and I will tell you it’s okay to cry, but it’s also so good to laugh and embrace the beauty of the moment.