A few days after Maelle was born, I created an email account for her. The idea was to send emails periodically throughout infancy and childhood documenting some of her most treasured milestones. Since this was a particularly difficult one for me, as I’m sure many of you, I thought I’d share it to the chat box :
Sweet Maelle, the eve of the day I have dreaded since I can remember is finally here. I always knew that someday there would be a last everything. A last newborn, a last first smile, a last breastfeed, a last first steps, a last “official” first day of school….a last child. It’s funny because after 10 ‘first day of kindergartens’, you would think it would get easier. Somehow I think I could have had ten more children and would never be prepared for this day. Today has been so full of last minute preparations that I did not shed a single tear until we sat and listened to Ms. Gordon (your amazing Kindergarten teacher) read the first day of school book. We sprinkled her goodnight confetti down under your pillow, as advised, and we sat down to read our last “first day of kindergarten” book together. It was in that moment I realized in the hustle and bustle of the last few weeks, I hardly even realized that tomorrow was so near.
This year is particularly difficult. Not only because I know how fast you will change and grow over the next few years, but because our world is not the world it was last year. Your kindergarten will not be like Ella’s, or Evan’s, or any of your other siblings’ first days. Your first day will be clouded with much uncertainty and anxiety amongst not only myself, but your teachers and your new friends’ parents. We are scared. We are praying that the decisions we made were the right ones, because none of our choices were ideal. Tonight, just like every other first day, I carefully packed your lunches (complete with a love note!), laid out your new school clothes and shoes, and packed your book bags full of fresh crayons and other supplies. This year though, each outfit also got a new accessory….a mask. When I got to yours, I stopped and stared, tears flooding down my cheeks. This is not the same! This is not fair! The smell of crayons is usually one of my favorite scents on the planet, but this year it’s almost nauseating.
Sweet girl, know this. As you venture off tomorrow to your class room, hand in hand with your big brother, smile hidden by the tiny pink face mask draped across your sweet little face, I will be praying for you and your brothers and sisters, your friends, and the school district. None of us know what the future holds, but we do love each of you unconditionally and we are trying desperately to figure out where to go from here. I hope that one day when you read my words in this email, you will smile on the other end of the rainbow knowing that everything turned out ok in the long run. I can’t send your fuzzy pink owl blanket that has protected you from all the monsters under the bed since birth. I can’t send your favorite babydoll with the crooked eye. I can’t come with you to hold your little hand as you take those scary steps to your very first “big girl” classroom. But I hope you know that I’ll be thinking about you and your brothers and sisters every second of the day, and I’ll be right there to wrap you in my arms when you come back home to me.
I love you my angel.