Gently

Photo by Yuliya of She Suggests {shesuggests.com}

Dear Miss C and Miss J,

I am writing this letter because there are so many things that I would like to tell you about my beautiful daughter, Katie, who is a new student in your preschool class.

Her favorite color is light blue and blueberries make her joyous. She loves Legos and Play-Doh.

One day she will love babies and playing house. The next, she will move on to trains and blocks. Please encourage her to explore and to enjoy the things that make her come to life.

Please treat her gently. She is such a nice girl, who wants nothing more than to please you.

If you see her hanging back from a group, please help her to join in. She wants to, but this is a new situation. She is taking it all in and needs to know that it will be okay.

When she says that she can’t do something, that she doesn’t know how, a warm hug works best to give her the confidence that she can do anything she puts her mind to.

Encourage her to be silly and lighthearted, as she is truly magical when she is expressing that side of herself.

If she should have a rough day and tears are ever threatening to fall, a hug of encouragement before redirecting her can make all of the difference.

She has such lovely manners and often yields to other children so easily, even when she should perhaps hold her own. Please work with us to help her to learn when to stand firm and when to bend.

There will be times when she simply needs for things to be “just so.” I hope that you are able to find a balance between that being acceptable and pushing her past what she thinks must be.

Please foster the whimsy that we’ve worked so hard to encourage. She has years ahead of her to worry about the big things.

For now, please just let her be a little girl. Let her live in the small moments.

She is my heart and leaving her each Tuesday and Thursday morning is one of the hardest things that I’ve ever had to do.

There is nothing that I would rather do than snatch her blue polka-dotted backpack from its tiny brass hook on the wall, scoop her up, and bring her safely back home with me.

But I don’t. Because I know that she needs this…she needs what preschool can give her and I can’t.

The craziness of the drop off and pick up makes it difficult to tell you these things in person, so I thought a letter would be best.

In my mind, I know that you’ll figure these things out, but in my heart, I need to articulate them to you.

Though I know that Katie is just one of 10 children in your class, she is my only Katie.

I promise you that the love you extend to her will come back tenfold.

Sincerely,
Katie’s Mommy,
Nichole

30 comments

  1. Rachel mommyneedsavacation.com

    Sigh…LOVE this!! I remember when Sadie 1st went to preschool. What a wonderful yet scary day for me!

    Beautiful letter!

  2. Kris prettyalltrue.com

    Awwwww.

    Hugs to you, Nichole.

    Big hugs.

  3. Sherri

    Oh this is perfect…I was right there with you, ready to snatch her backpack. I could feel your struggle, Nichole…and I promise it gets easier in some ways. Much love to you!

  4. Melissa confessionsofadrmom.com

    Oh Nichole, I know the heartache and the worry. This is such a lovely letter that captures the essence of your daughter. I hope everything goes well for you both. I'm sure it will.

  5. Kimberly mamasmonologues.com

    Oh Nichole, I can feel the heartache here. Dropping my son off at school for the first time was one of the hardest things I've had to do. This is a beautiful letter that shows the beauty of your daughter.

  6. Nichole,
    Tonight this post resonated with me. You feel this way even when your almost 16 year old walks out the door. With a tough night with thoughtless friends and a daughter who is so kind this post put into words how I will likely feel even when my babies are full grown adults. This parenting gig? It's for life. Thank you for expressing something so perfectly in a way I would never be able to.
    Dana

  7. MamaWantsThis mamawantsthis.com

    Oh Nichole. Such a beautiful letter. It's so hard letting them go off and discover things for themselves, learning from people other than you (or close family), having a few hours separate of you doing their own thing – but we know it's necessary. Doesn't make it easier though. So my thoughts will be with you every Tuesday and Thursday. xo

  8. So, so sweet. It is tough trusting your babies in someone else's hands, isn't it?

  9. CDG

    They'll do fine. Katie will do fine. You'll do fine!

    And you should tell me the same in two months when it's my turn.

  10. Jessica

    Oh this is such a perfect letter, there are so many things we want other people to see and appreciate in our children as we do. I will be sending mine to preschool in the fall with the same pull in my heart. I'm coming to you for help because by then you will be a pro.

  11. Oh no! That made me cry, and Abbey doesn't even go until the fall. I feel like I could have written so many of those same sentiments about my girl (but not nearly as beautifully as you did.)

    Good luck to you and Katie both.

  12. Kir thekircorner.com

    Oh Nic, that was simply so gorgeous, what a beautiful thing for Katie to fax years from now when she needs to be reminded about how much she's loved, how hard it is for us to let our children go somedays. Wow..your words always bring such tears to my eyes and fullness to my heart.
    XOXO

  13. Peggy

    Beautiful post. I loved it. And I am so glad that you are letting Katie go to pre-school. Soon you will get a chuckle out of the fact that you will be referred to as "Katie's Mom" by other Moms.

  14. Natalie mycrazybusylife.com

    Big hugs!! I know how you feel. It’s so hard to watch our babies grow up. I want nothing more than to keep them the sweet, chubby faced, innocent toddlers that let me snuggle them as I please.
    I promise, the dropping off gets easier. And the time away makes the pick-up time so much more sweeter. There’s nothing greater than the happy look on your baby’s face when they see you in the doorway.

  15. Ryan @TWM thewovenmoments.com

    I'm crying at work! Gah!

    I could have written this about my 4 year old, Peanut. She's exactly the same – choosing sweetness over autonomy, always. It's part of her I love but can't relate to.

    Thank you for writing this! I hope you gave it to your daughter's teacher!!

  16. You are seriously the sweetest, most adorable mom ever.

  17. Tonya lettersforlucas.com

    I'm in tears this is so precious. Lucas starts a month from today and you said everything that I hope for him too. He and Katie sound a lot alike.

    Hugs to you, my dear sweet friend.

    I'm going to be a basket case that day.

  18. This post totally made me cry. Becuase I'm sending my Diego to preschool in the fall and I'm already choked up about it. The line that got me most of all was, "Though I know that Katie is just one of 10 children in your class, she is my only Katie." Such beautiful writing expressing what every mom feels as we have to leave our little ones for the first time.

  19. mshalz

    This is so very sweet. My almost 3-year-old starts preschool in August. I just can't believe he will be three! It's bittersweet every time a birthday comes and goes. But mostly I'm just so proud of him. They just keep surprising us with how special they are, don't they?

  20. jacqui chicktuition.com/

    Love this! Such a beautiful post!

  21. Cheryl @ Mommypants mommypants.com

    Every parent feels that way about sending their child off to be cared for by someone else. No one does it as well as we do, but then again, that's the point. Katie is tougher than you think. You? You're a marshmallow. A very pretty marshmallow!

  22. Cate catelinden.com

    Nichole, I just adore your writing. Obviously I have never met you or Katie, but I feel like I know you both so well because your writing is so expressive. Katie is so lucky to have you as her mom!

  23. julie gardner juliecgardner.com

    Lovely as always, Nichole. Simply lovely.
    You articulated what all children need in SUCH a personal way.

    Just imagine how much better the world would be if every child received those extra hugs of encouragement…

    Deep breaths and extra hugs to you, too.
    Katie's not the only one who can do ANYTHING she puts her mind to.

    xo

  24. thisismynewmoon

    So nice, Nichole. I hope you actually gave her teachers this letter. There is nothing preschool teachers appreciate more. I am in a 2 year old class for the summer and I wish all of our parents had written similar letters. Entrusting their children to someone new must be so difficult.

  25. multitaskingmumma

    Oh Nichole this is exactly how i felt the first day of day care.
    I wanted the teachers to understand want a gift they were being given and that they needed to be extra careful with her.
    This letter is beautiful and touching.

  26. Katie sluiternation.com

    the only non-family place I have left Eddie is daycare. And she can't take him this fall and I am all sorts of nervous about leaving him somewhere he doesn't know anyone. He grew up with the kids at daycare. He started going when he was 2 months old. This letter is killing me. You have put into words what I have been denying. What I have been hiding from.

    this is lovely.

  27. Ohh this is so nostalgic and perfect, the sum of every mother.

  28. MamaRobinJ farewellstranger.com

    What a perfect picture of who she is. My son is starting preschool in September and part of me is so excited. I think he will love it and I think it will be good for him – a bit of structure, some new things to learn. I can't wait to hear him tell me about his mornings there. But I think when it comes time I will feel just like this. He went to a day camp today – 2 1/2 hours every morning this week – and I'm away from home so I spent all morning wonder how he would do when getting dropped off and whether he would like it. (He did.)

    Did you actually give this to her teachers?

  29. This post made me cry! My son is only 10 months old, but I already feel sad when I leave him with a babysitter. Your heart is so honest and kind.

  30. pim

    This wad so touching. I’ve been a stay at home mom to my 4.5 and 1 year old boys since the first was born. Last week I started a job as a preschool teacher, and both boys are going to my school. That certainly takes some of the edge off but when hear my baby cry it’s so hard not to go in there and hold him, it breaks my heart because he’s to young to understand why I’m not there. My 4 year old loves school so much, he hardly even notices when I leave. I’m glad he’s happy but I miss my little boy clinging to my hand. And with the children in my room I remind myself through the day that they are each someones whole world. It’s easy to get frustrated when they don’t do what I need them to, but I take care to always treat them as I want my sons to be treated. I love my kids. My own, and the ones in my class.

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