To Julian on the first day of school

Julian,

Today you started your first day of Kindergarten. The first day of school all day every day for many years to come. You’re growing in independence, height, brains, and heart faster than I can comprehend.

You are a kindergarten kid. You’re growing up so fast.

I blinked, and you went from this…

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…to this.

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You learned so much this year. You can ride your bike, swim, read, and are learning to whistle! You’re a good friend, and a wonderful brother. You love to learn. You make me so happy every day. You challenge me and keep my mind sharp; you surprise me and delight me, and what a gift it is for us to have you in our lives. I hope you’ll keep growing in independence and character, and I know that I will continue to be so proud of you.

This year you will have official school “subjects:” English, German, math, science, social studies, art, music. You get to play in Prospect Park every day. You’ll play soccer after school with your friends.

This morning was adorable. You were welcomed along with all the other new students, most of them Kindergartners like yourself. You received your “Schultüte” and were overall very composed/cool. Also, you chose your doughnut shirt for good luck, so obviously I think that was a wise decision.

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You didn’t see it, but I totally cried. You stood on stage with all the other kids, waving at me, and I tried not to cry.

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Then we took the obligatory photo.

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We met your new teacher. She gave you a hug, and you gave me a hug, and Arthur, and Papa, and then you lined up next to Lorelei and took her hand and off you went.

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And then I totally cried. But they were mostly happy tears mixed with pride and a little bit of sad, because you, my boy, are growing up so fast.

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When you came home, we celebrated with “back to school donuts.”

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You told us about who you ate lunch with, what you played at the park and how you got locked inside a bathroom stall (you climbed out underneath and told no one about it, so A for resourcefulness I say.) For dinner I made your favorite (pesto) and then assembled your lunchbox for tomorrow.

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You’ve been in bed now for 40 minutes rhyming random words with Arthur, who, by the way, will miss you. Only today did it really occur to me how close you two have grown this summer. You did everything together; you are truly best friends. It’s my greatest joy.

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Anyway, sleep well, my kindergarten boy. And welcome to a new part of your life-adventure.

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