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Challenge: Back to School

A Letter to My Pre-School Daughter

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My girl,

I cannot believe I'm even writing this note. And, of course, as soon as I start, tears flood my tired eyes.

I was convinced, once I had you, I'd go back to work in three months. (Ha!) I just knew I wanted to be a working mom. (That wasn't the only thing I thought I knew when it came to parenthood!) Then you arrived. And I couldn't imagine leaving. (I know how fortunate I was- many don't have that option.) I'd waited my whole life to be a mommy and meet you and there was no way I wasn't going to be there all day, every day. Work could wait.

So three months became six, six became nine and, somehow, we're now at two and a half. There were days I dreaded my decision, jealous of your father and my friends for having a place to go, people to see, doors to close. But they were overshadowed by the ones where we'd lie on the floor for hours in our pajamas, yours footed, mine frayed, and play. We learned about each other, discovered our new world, smiled, giggled and gazed into one another's eyes, finally understanding pure, unconditional love. In those early months, nothing. else. mattered.

Now you're talking (back!), running and far more independent. You already don't need your mommy as much and, while that breaks my heart a bit as I can see it all slipping away in one, big, fast-forward blur, I'm so amazed at the little girl you've become. You're smart and funny, polite and sweet and, yes, sassy too, which I secretly love... most days. There are other tough, tantrum-filled ones where I think, "How soon can you go? How long can you stay?" But then you do something unbearably cute and I forget. Until the next time.

These days when you ask, "Mama, can I hold you?" or "Mama, can I pick you up?" I don't hesitate, hoisting you up, pulling you tight, savoring the moment: the smell of your hair, softness of your skin, knowing it will pass more quickly than this time at home has and I'm often conflicted from encouraging you to run free, be brave, join the others and wanting to hold you forever.

It's all ahead of you and this is just the first step on your journey to becoming more of who you are, a compassionate, unique citizen of the world but, no matter what- no matter where your go, what you do- always your mommy's little girl.

Thank you for these last two and a half years. They were my honor, the greatest of my life. I know it'll never be the same. I'm so grateful we had this time together and I can't believe it's over. I'm losing a part of you next week but you're gaining so much, which I'm learning is what parenthood is all about.

So go forth and kick preschool butt. I'll be there, silently- or not so- cheering you the whole way and waiting with unbridled anticipation to greet you each day. You'll never know how proud I am to call you mine.

I love you, my Buggy.



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