Dear Aidan and Angelina, I am so proud of us! We've grown so much together over these past years since starting elementary school. Aidan, I will never forget your first day of Kindergarten and how you held my hand so tightly I thought you would never let go. The way you turned back to us and gave a hesitant wave as tears streamed down your face, tightly holding your friend Harrison's hand while we watched you walk off into that big school building is a moment engrained in my brain for eternity. Of course, I tried to hide my own tears by holding the camera to my face, hoping that would distract me. It was one of the most difficult photos I've ever taken, but also happens to be my favorite moment I've ever captured. Now, here you are as a fourth grader! Sporting your fresh new high tops and cool roller bag backpack, I know you don't need my hand to hold anymore. I know you already miss the carefree days of summer, and I admit that hearing you say "I just want to stay home with you" this morning made me secretly smile, but I am proud of you for being strong and brave, and I know you are going to be just fine.
Angelina, it is going to be hard to top Kindergarten and first grade with Ms. Boston. She was an incredible teacher and I'm so proud of all you've accomplished this far. But second grade! Oh man, how I would love to be in second grade again! I remember not only as a kid loving this particular grade, but as a teacher, it was, without a doubt, my favorite grade to teach. Since your first day of Kindergarten, you have impressed me with your easy-going personality and your ability to see the fun and excitement in every new experience! I am positive you are going to have a fabulous year with a brand new teacher. It's going to be awfully quiet around the house during the day without you making me laugh ALL. THE. TIME...but we'll just have to save the dance parties and giggles for after school.
With each passing year, it has become a little bit easier to let go, to trust the others that are caring for you to do their jobs and keep you not only learning and educated, but to keep you safe. It's difficult, this parenting thing, because we want to see you grow and learn and become strong independent little beings, yet at the same time we can't help but want to protect you and keep you from getting hurt, whether it's from a scrape on the playground or a bullies mean words. We'll keep growing together and celebrating each new school year and milestone. Our friends will be there to help us along the way, and we'll keep making each other proud. Deal?