Dear First Grade {2014}

Dear First Grade,

We were so excited to start first grade. With your morning lines on the big kids playground and lunch with the big kids.

We even got to try new things at Snack Shack like cup-o-noodles, which let's be honest, are quite possibly the best thing you can buy for fifty cents.

We knew you would be tough, with your math facts and compound words, but we worked hard and even got awarded for it.

But somewhere around Christmas, we fumbled a little. We got a little more anxious, we decided that there were things about you, First Grade, we didn't like. We kept smiling. We kept trying, and even on the mornings when we cried more than we smiled, we went and met you on the playground anyway. The only way we knew how to get over you was to go through you, no matter how difficult. Honestly, First Grade, you were harder than preschool and kindergarten. We shed more tears and spent more time using our outside voice this year. Many people told us that it just came with the territory, but we couldn't help wonder why it was so hard for us...

Despite all of our hardships, all of our bad days and rough starts, we found the good in every day. We became Daisy Scouts, and sold three hundred and fifty five boxes of cookies. We learned about making friends and being responsible, and we ate really good snacks with new scout friends.

We lost some teeth, and had fun with the tooth fairy who needed to make a lot of trips to the bank.

In the spring we found our smile again. We tapped into our school spirit. We had less mornings filled with tears and more days filled with fun. 

We stopped to laugh. We stopped to tell jokes. And we even decided that you weren't so bad after all, First Grade. Maybe you were even a friend.

You taught us some important lessons, First Grade. You taught us that we can climb mountains. Even the really steep ones, in slippery shoes and sweaty hands. You taught us that even on the roughest mornings, we could find a little joy, we could say a little prayer. You taught me and my daughter that we are so very strong in heart and mind, and we can, and will continue to do hard things. Things we aren't ready for, things we may not be prepared for. You taught me that motherhood is forever changing and challenging, and that I can be thankful and frustrated in the exact same breath. If anything, First Grade, you taught me that my work is far from over, and surprisingly, I'm one hundred percent ok with that. In fact, I welcome it.

I wish I could say that I will miss you, First Grade, but I can't. What I can say is Thank You. Thank you for teaching me so many lessons, and blessing me with every single moment. Thank you for the rough patches and the happy slices of joy. Thank you for my daughter, who has grown physically, but also in mind and spirit. A spirit I thought might break this year, but instead her spirit got stronger and braver. And I became stronger and braver. I asked myself many times over, why does First Grade have to be so hard. Now I know why. I realize we needed you this year, First Grade. We needed you to teach us that even in the hardest moments, our spirit is what makes us soar. 

I don't think we can ever thank you enough.

pinable, if you want...

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe she is in 2nd grade now! Carter starts 1st grade soon, and I hope he likes it as much as he liked Kindergarten. His Kindergarten teacher said that some of her students who have gone on to 1st grade will stop at her door, sigh, and say, "I remember this..." ;)