Dear Will and Ruby,
It's your first day of school today. You'll have many more, but today you start preschool and preK, respectively. I have time with you still, time to teach you all the complicated things that you need to know before you step into independence; but you still have to navigate this year without me. You still have to do hard things. So here are some things to carry with you as you step into this school year.
Everyone has their strengths, and if yours isn't math or reading or school at all; that's ok. I've got your back. You can be good at other things and still be unique and loved and valuable.
You must act in kindness to all people. I don't care if a kid is the smelliest in the whole world; if he/she sits alone at lunch, I expect that you sit with them. You are a Radcliffe, Radcliffe's operate in compassion and sincerity at all times.
Be charming, so that when you're a terror teachers laugh instead of calling me.
Along with being kind and compassionate, you have my permission to be tough. It's a hard, cold world we all live in; act accordingly within situations.
Don't be a bully, unless you want to invoke the full fury of your extremely fiery mother.
Enjoy your friends, enjoy how different they are from you. You're going to want to play trains or kitchen, and they are going to want to color and do puzzles. Friendship isn't about always liking or doing the same things. Now and then, sacrifice your desires for the sake of honoring others; other times, be okay with playing with someone or somewhere else. It doesn't mean your friendship is over.
Will, don't pull your pants all the way to the floor when you pee, remember how I showed you.
Ruby, don't put that in your mouth. Just whatever it is, apply this command throughout your day.
Take risks; whether it's on the playground, in your schoolwork, or with a friendship. Bones heal, creativity will get you points anywhere, and some of my closest friendships started by putting myself out there.
It's ok to miss your mom during the day, take a deep breath and know I'll be there at pickup ready with a hug and to hear all your stories.
If you do something embarrassing, own it. People will respect you more for it and won't talk about you behind your back.
Wear your jacket at recess on cold days.
Say please and thank you.
Make eye contact.
Most of all remember you are fearfully and wonderfully made. To your dad and I, you are the most important students in your class. We care about everything you hear and see and experience, and we are always a soft place for you to land. I'm ready and willing to explain what needs explaining or teach what needs to be taught. I'm also prepared to sit quietly and listen. It doesn't matter if this is your 1st first day or your 10th; I will always remain your mom.
Your biggest fan.
Your ride or die.
Your safe place.
And the lady that will kick your butt if you are acting a fool.
Photo by: Sarah Mayo of Sarah Mayo Photography