To My Daughter Starting Kindergarten

Yesterday we took Oaklee to her first day of Kindergarten. I had been thinking for weeks about that day. I had been thinking about her zest for life, her joy, and her silliness. I had been thinking about her incredibly pure and kind heart.

She is such a treasure, as all kids are.


It is scary to share such a gift.

The day before when I tucked her in at night she said, “Mama, I’m scared.”

I said, “I will not leave until you are ready,”(knowing that her ready would be in the 2.5 seconds it would take her to make a friend).

The morning of, between bites of pancakes, she informed me, “Mom, actually, I want to do this on my own. I don’t want you to come.”

Watch out world.

“Okay,” I said, “I will leave when you are ready for me to leave.”

As we walked her into her class, her bright eyes were filled with wonder behind her purple rimmed glasses.  We unloaded her things and found her name tag. “Bye Mom!” she said easily as she gave me a squeeze…

…and like that she was off.

As I send my daughter out into the world of Kindergarten, here are a few things I want her to know:

You are loved. Not in a way where you have to perform, or get it right. Not in the way of A+ papers, or being the fastest runner in class. We love you from the top of your head to the bottom of your toes, and nothing, not the worst mistake, could shake our love or make it less. Nothing. Some days you will feel awesome about you. Some days, you will not.

But remember: you are always (on your best day and your worst day) most definitely and infinitely LOVED.


You just need to be you. There is not one other person in this entire world that is the same as you. Not one with your eyes or your nose or your heart. No one with the same sense of humor or the same way of painting a picture.

You will want people to like you, and sometimes it might seem like you have to be the same in order to belong or be liked – but don’t believe it. The best kind of friends will like you just the way you are.

Be that kind of friend. Just like you are unique, and wonderful, and special – so are the kids around you. There is no one on the planet just like them.

Treat each person like a unique treasure…because they are.

Don’t worry when someone says that you “aren’t”. That you aren’t fast enough, smart enough, pretty enough or that you aren’t their friend. It hurts, I know it does, and it is okay to feel sad or even angry. I wish I could be with you in every moment that something like this happens, but I won’t be.

In those moments remember that you are WONDERFUL. You are wonderful just the way you are. You are wild, sweet, creative, kind, and beautiful. I couldn’t be more proud of you.

If you let them, those other words will fade away to nothingness.

Hold on to the good things with all your strength, and let the bad things wash off of you.

You don’t have to grow up fast. There are lots of years to be grown up. You don’t ever have to stop loving teddy bears and dolls – unless you do. No one is ever too old to imagine, to dream, or to sing at the top of their lungs: these are some of life’s greatest gifts. If someone tells you that what you like is for “little girls”, don’t worry about it – it is good to be little.

Be generous. When you feel lonely, find someone who looks lonelier than you and ask them to play. When you feel unsure, find someone and tell them how wonderful, smart, and beautiful they are. I promise, that this will make your heart feel better too.

Honor your teachers. Your teachers will give you gifts that will shape your life forever. Mommy and Daddy are so very grateful to them for what they sow into your future. Always treat them with the most respect and your best listening ears – and don’t forget to tell them “Thank you” often.

You will fail. You will hurt a friends feelings or you will not do very well on a test. Sometimes you might answer a question wrong in front of everyone or you might get in trouble at recess or spill your lunch. That is ALL OKAY. Never ever do you have to be perfect. Mistakes are the best part of learning. We are so very proud of you ALWAYS, especially when you don’t get it right.

We are here.

We are here to talk about everything and anything.

All you need to do is show up each day with your whole heart.  With that, you cannot fail (not really). It’s not possible.

Go out and conquer the world little one! We will be forever with you, cheering you on.


You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting…so get on your way!!

-Dr. Suess

Special thanks to Marianne Wiest Photography for these insanely amazing photos – she has such a gift! Check her website and follow her on Facebook and Instagram!!

10 responses to “To My Daughter Starting Kindergarten”

  1. You are such a great mom. Your kids are lucky to have you. And I know you feel lucky to have them.😊

  2. Beautifully written (and the photos are amazing!). My youngest rides the bus to kindergarten for the first time tomorrow! It’s always easier for them than it is for us. I want to linger and watch a bit longer. They nonchalantly say “Bye Dad!” as if that’s my cue to skedaddle. Sounds like she’s going to be amazing! (how could she not with a mom like you)

  3. YES! Our children are the best gifts, and it is so scary to share them!! I hope Oaklee had an amazing first day of K!! My favorite advice you gave, Be that kind of friend, don’t worry when someone says you aren’t, and it is ok to fail. Thank you for sharing this amazing post and being an amazing parent to your kids!!

  4. Thank you friend for the feedback!!

  5. Thank you! Good luck tomorrow!!

  6. My daughter is on her last semester of college, but I remember having her in a coop pre k and the teacher told us our kids would signal us when they were ready to have us leave them. Guess which parent was dismissed first? As one gentleman said easier for us!

  7. Beautiful post with wonderful advice. Filing it for when my kiddos get ready for kindergarten.

  8. You are so right!! My girls are 35 & 40 but I can share for my granddaughter, So true!

  9. This is such a great post!! And for all the parents out there saying they will save it for their grandkids: your kids are NEVER to old to hear this!! Whether they are starting kindergarten, high school, college, their first job… The challenges are essentially the same and it never hearts to hear such kind words 💙

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