Dear Elisabeth (on your first day of third grade)

elthirdgradeDear Elisabeth…..

Welcome to Third Grade, sweetheart.

Lately, you seem more like 39 than 9. Every morning, when you walk down the stairs (with your hair combed, your shoes tied, and your game face on), it’s like you’re a middle-aged woman off to her demanding job.

But then …you tell me about your dreams (or nightmares) from the night before, and you seem like another self, your toddler self, the one who loves to live in a fantasy world of flying dragons and frilly purple bathing suits.

It’s almost like two different girls: the tense, efficient one who makes many rules for herself—or the relaxed, dreamy one.

You are still young enough to decide which you want to be: the stressed, hard-working, rigid outside or your inside creative, stretchy soul. The first type of kid gets lots of praise, good grades, and the teacher’s approval. But the creative soul, who knows she can’t manipulate what’s coming next, knows deeper joy.

I’m so sorry for every time that Daddy and I have taught you that it’s good to be rigid and worried. We’ve modeled impatience over being fully presence. We’ve made everything urgent and forgotten what’s important.

Elisabeth, let’s try to make Third Grade about the important. Let’s sing more praise songs at bedtime and dance more in the kitchen. Let’s go on more walks without a destination and laugh more at ourselves.

Let’s do more of all of that. Together.

I can’t wait to see who you become, Elisabeth. It will be amazing.

Love,

Mommy

 

 

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