Dear Ari,

I just tucked you in.  The night before your last day of kindergarten and I am feeling a little sad and a little shocked and just left wondering why time goes by so fast…  I remember being young and seeing older people say that childhood goes by so fast.  I remember wishing I could be a grown up and sometimes being frustrated about the boredom of being a kid.  When you grow up you realize that being a kid is as simple as it gets.  When you become a mom you realize everyone around you who said, “enjoy them now, they grow up so fast!” was right.  You are growing up so fast.  I do try to enjoy the moment and be present but it’s like sand slipping through my clutching hands.  The moments are gone so quickly.  Wasn’t I just buying your backpack for your first day of school?  Wasn’t I just running out the door with your lunch box and gym shoes, frustrated that we would be late to school one random day in February?

I love you so much.  I know that you know this.  I can tell by the way you look at me and how you always feel so safe and complete when you are around me.  I’m so proud of you Ari.  I still have so much to teach you as does your school and the world around you.  But, you amaze me.  You are the happiest person I know.  You bounce back so quickly.  You are truly resilient and this trait is something that I hope you will always have.  I can’t stop the world from breaking your heart, from hurting your feelings, from not being fair to you all of the time, but I can tell you that you get to choose how you respond to it.  I hope you will always remain resilient.  I hope you will always choose to be strong and have the courage to heal.

Two of my favorite words are compassion and perseverance.  When I was pregnant with you the one thing I wanted to become was more compassionate to the world.  I wanted to become the woman who you would one day admire.  Compassion, empathy, understanding, humility and charity is what we should show our fellow brothers and sisters who share this planet with us for this short amount of time we are granted.  You are kind and you are loving, I pray that compassion continues to grow and flourish in your little heart.

Perseverance is something that I learned growing up through the darkest of times.  Everyday we must choose to persevere, whether it be from the little things or the big things.  There is so much beauty and warmth in this world but storms do come.  You have to pray and you have to get through it.  Physical pain, emotional pain; it will all come down to a battle of the mind.  You choose to be strong.  You choose your perspective.  You find the light in the darkness.  Lord knows there were times in my life when my heart had been so trampled on I just wanted the earth to swallow me up.  But I have always had this hope inside of me.  This echo of God.  The best is always yet to come Arianna.  You have to hold on in this life and you have to persevere.  I know in my heart that you always will.  I can tell how strong your mind and heart are even now at your young age.

Life may never be as simple as it is right now in Kindergarten.  Next year, you will have less play time.  You will have more homework.  You will be expected to know and obey the rules.  You will be an example for the future kindergartners.  Arianna, you worked so hard this year.  You learned so much.  You made so many friends.  Despite being new to this state, this culture let alone school in general you adapted so quickly.  Not once did you cower behind my legs afraid of new environments, situations or people.  Instead you welcomed everything with your warm radiant smile and captivating personality.  I am so proud of you and so inspired.

All of this is in my heart to tell you, but of course it is only the last paragraph that I’m actually going to say out loud to you at 6 years old.





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