To My Daughter Before You Start Kindergarten

wordswag_1498083980701Dear Ryleigh Jane,

You’re five now.  The “experts” (whomever they are) say that most of your personality is formed by now.  Who you are.  But I know from experience that there’s a lot headed your way that will try to shape the way you think.  And there’s a few things I want you to know:

You are loved more than you’ll ever realize.  From the day you were born, we started to sing “your song”–the one Daddy made up.  You still know it, five years later, although we go months between singing it nowadays.  We have absolutely adored you from the day you were born–yes, even your older brother—and that will NEVER change.  But beyond that, you are loved beyond measure by the God Who created you.  It’s not just a pretty saying, baby girl.  It’s a solid truth you can stake your life on.  He thinks your imagination is one-of-a-kind.  He sees the way your hair always falls in your eyes and He loves to brush it away with a gentle breeze.  He loves your inquisitive nature, and especially when you ask questions about Him.  He can’t wait for you to pursue a constant, daily relationship with Him.  There were fireworks in Heaven last month when you decided to trust Him as your Savior.  You are dearly loved, sweetheart.  Take that to kindergarten with you, and know deep down that no one will ever love you more than He does, and you can’t earn His love or lose it.  It will never change.  wordswag_1498083816884

You can’t always please people and be yourself.  I’m not talking about your teacher; you’d better obey every word that flows from her mouth—but I already know you will.  I’m talking about your friends.  As you grow, you’ll find that there are “friends” who only want to play with you if you have the newest toy or, later, the best clothes.  They only want to be around you if you make them look better.  Run, baby, run!!!!  Those aren’t your real friends.  There will be those who try to get you to do things…not necessarily bad things (although you’ll need to watch out for that too!), but just to try to control you.  BE YOURSELF.  Don’t be afraid to say “NO”—ever!  A real friend will be happy to be around the real you.  And, should you somehow find it hard to find a real friend….

Look around for those who are left out.  Being kind is ALWAYS cool.  Right now, you are friendly to everyone.  You look out for others and offer to help those who need it.  But there will come a time when there is temptation to only play with the “cool” kids.  Baby girl, you are too loved to need acceptance from the cool crowd.  Be the girl who makes friends with the one who doesn’t have any.  There’s more than enough love in your heart.  Put your arm around her and ask if she likes Peppa Pig.  If not, ask her if she likes to swing on the swings.  You can’t go wrong with one of those options.

Our home is a safe place you can drop your anchor when you come home every afternoon.  You can tell Mommy and Daddy anything and everything about your day.  This is a safe place.  There are no secrets here.  We will love you and help you navigate life.  We will pray with you and over you.  Your friends will be welcomed here, and we will do our best to love on them and show them the love of Jesus when they come here.  There will be times when we’ll need to correct you, or discipline you, or redirect you–but home is the haven where you don’t have to worry about embarrassment or awkwardness.  You can be yourself—your beautiful, crazy, creative, happy self–in complete freedom.  When you leave the house every morning, backpack full, remember that, like a boomerang, you can come home every afternoon and our hearts and arms will be open to you–no matter what your day was like.

Your grades–good or bad–will never determine how much we love you or how proud of you that we are.  We will be proud of you no matter what.  We hope you’ll try your hardest always.  We hope you’ll love to learn and read and that you’ll thrive in school.  But your performance will never be the meter by which we release our approval of you.  We approve of you already.  We are proud of you already.  We will share your excitement in your achievements, but we will never withhold our acceptance of you should you fail.  And you will fail at some things, darling.  If you try anything–sports, music, art, story problems!!!!–you’ll fail sometimes.  But IT’S OK.  You’re amazing just the way you are.  You don’t have to be the best at anything to win our love or pride.  Try things! Fail.  We’ll help you dust yourself off and try again.  Those knobby knees of yours can stand the bruises.  And our love for you won’t change a bit.

School will be your life for the next 13-17 years.  Maybe more.  So much fun awaits you!  We can’t wait to hear about your classmates and your teacher.  You will have countless stories to tell.  But tuck these precious truths deep in your heart, Jane.  We don’t want you to forget them for a minute.  And always know, as you sit in class each day, that you are protected and covered by your Heavenly Dad Who is with you even when we can’t be.  Walk confidently, knowing that you are forever loved.  Always hold your head high, baby girl.  And be exactly who God made you to be.

Love,

Mommy and Daddywordswag_1498084263452

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