The Night before Kindergarten

Dear daughter,

It’s the night before kindergarten, and you’re already fast asleep. Your monogrammed shirt is laid out alongside your brand new tennis shoes. The backpack and lunch box you worked so hard to earn are filled with your supplies. You are ready. But am I?

It’s a question I’ve thought a lot about. My friends have talked about the emotions they are feeling, the sadness and the disbelief at the passage of time. Don’t tell your dad I admitted this, but even he’s already hidden tissue in the truck in case he gets a little misty eyed. But me? How do I feel in the lead up to the big day?

For years we have worked towards this. The alphabet, colors, numbers, sight words. We’ve read books and sang songs. You can recite our address and phone number and tie your own shoes. You’ve had teachers that have poured so much into you, who have loved you like their own. Intellectually, you are ready.

You are such a good friend. You share well – most of the time, anyways – and have such empathy. You take responsibility for your actions and express your frustrations. You communicate openly and honestly, and sometimes a little sassily too. Emotionally, you are ready.

And maturity? Oh honey, how you’ve grown up. You get ready for school and ready for bed all on your own. You know your chores, like making your bed and packing your lunch, and you get them done consistently. You stand tall with shoulders back. Your size 13 shoe dwarfs some of your classmate’s. You look much older than you are, but those years will have to wait. Physically, you are ready for kindergarten.

You are ready, so ready for tomorrow, but baby – no, big girl – am I?

Yes, my girl, yes. I am ready. In fact, I’m turning cartwheels for you.

You have counted down this day all summer with thrill and anticipation. This is what we’ve been talking about since May at kindergarten round up. You are so excited you giggled yourself to sleep. How could I not feel the same?

There are so many dreams left to dream, and hundreds of milestones you still have to hit. Learning to read, participating in school activities, driving a car, going to prom, and one day graduation. All of these are on the horizon. And while I know every day won’t be easy, the last five years have shown me that they are sure to be an adventure, one that I personally can’t wait to go on with you.

Tomorrow your dad will likely need his tissues as we watch you bounce your way through the doors, and that’s okay. But love, for you, I will do nothing but smile ear to ear. You have worked so hard and come so far. You are doing what you were made to do. You are ready. And so am I.

I am so proud of you, my very big girl. I can’t wait to watch you change the world, one day at a time.

All my love,


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