It's me. Mandy.
Tomorrow I'll walk Joseph to his classroom for his fourth first day of school. I'll introduce myself to his teacher with quick words along with every other parent in the room. I'll watch him find his desk, his name written in black letters across the the top. I'll have time to take a picture, maybe two before I'm ushered out of the room.
Please, let him still let me give him a hug and kiss goodbye - even in front of his friends.
Please, let those friends be friends again. Let the summer not put a crack in their relationships and let them treat each other kindly.
Please, don't let older children tease or make fun. Let them see him for the amazing kid he is.
Please, let his teacher be charmed by his constant questions and willing grin. Let her recognize the kindness in his heart and know he'll try so hard to please her but be hardest on himself if he fails.
Tomorrow I'll walk Elizabeth to her classroom for the first day of school for the first time. I'll hand her teacher the supplies she requested and get in a quick word - along with every other parent in the room. I'll watch her find her desk, her name in bright colors on white paper. I'll have time to take a picture or seven before I'm ushered out of the room.
Please, let her be brave and not run for me as I leave. Let her confidence shine through as she waves goodbye.
Please, let her find good friends in her class who will accept all that she is and laugh and play with her. Let them be girls who use their imaginations and confidence to be kind rather than mean.
Please, help her remember she's only five once and not to be in a rush to be seven. Let her enjoy her class and her afterschool program with all the joy a kindergartener can muster.
Please, let her teacher see her dimpled grin and love her. Let her see her desire to learn and encourage her to passion and drive. Let her teacher realize my girl will never stop trying until she succeeds and will become single-minded in that pursuit.
Please, let this year go smoothly. Let it be filled with Friday afternoon dance parties, reading buddies, new books from the library, jump-a-thons, parent nights, new friends and old, talent shows, school gardens, and hundred day celebrations. Let the people I entrust with my children love them and guide them and know them.
And please give me the strength to let them go a little bit now so they'll be able to stand on their own in a few short years. Time is flying quickly now. Too quickly. Try as I might, I can't slow it down. Let me have moments of pause to savor and cherish before they slip through my fingers.