A Letter To My Baby On Her First Day Of School
Here I sit, as I write a letter to my baby on her first day of school.
You think these days are far off, as you sit with a newborn on your chest, praying through the sleepless nights, wishing away the bedtime tantrums of the toddler years, and then, BOOM.
And those tiny toes that found their place tucked perfectly into your new squishy mommy tummy, are about to step into their next big milestone; and for the first time, without you.
When we first met you, my heart tip-toed into the corners of this moment, then quickly found its way back to the sweet little baby that laid on my chest. It seemed like a lifetime away from that moment, that I’d be releasing you into a world of unknowns, and, what feels like the beginning of an end to our “young years” together.
I thought I was ready.
And here I am, writing a letter to my baby on her first day of school.
We had a girl’s day yesterday; shopping, ice cream, the whole bit. We laughed, talked about school, you shared your excitement, and reminded ME it was okay to feel two things at once (hello, who taught you that?!). We packed your lunch, your bag, snuggled you extra long at night, and set an alarm for your first day.
I thought I was ready.
But last night, I had a full-on sob-fest, even waking in the middle of the night with dreams of you as that tiny baby on my chest.
But somehow, it’s time for you to go off to school.
Real school. The same school where 11-year-olds go.
Full-time school, 8:30-3:30.
The real deal.
Today is the first step in your journey to be part of the world, separate from me.
(and writing that quite literally is bringing the floodgates over my eyes.)
From birth until now, you have spent almost all of your days with me.
But today, I put your heart in the hands of another.
I hope they know how much you mean to me, how special you are.
I hope they discover who Bugsy is, and how she has been with us through every major moment, and no one picks on you if they see her tucked away in your backpack.
I hope they are gentle, I hope they see the light that you shine in this big beautiful world and help cultivate it within you.
I hope they understand the watery eyes as you walk into those big doors, the reason behind them, that you were the first kick I felt that made me a mother, and the first one I’d send to school to create a life inside walls other than our home.
All the questions and fear that surround us in our world right now, as a parent, each choice we’ve made have felt like you will be robbed of something. It kind of feels like throwing a newborn baby into the great big world, until I step back and remember each moment.
All of that has led us to this point.
And then, I pause.
I stop to remember what these last few years have meant—
to both of us.
They’ve meant surviving extreme morning sickness, together. (Barely.) followed by an incredibly scary emergency birth, that ended, by the grace of God, with a precious little girl who would be the one to make us parents for the first time.
They’ve survived the waters of postpartum depression, and your love reminding me at 3am feedings that this life was worth fighting for.
They’ve meant bottle weaning and potty training.
They’ve meant bumps, bruises, and skinned knees.
They’ve meant expanding our family and becoming a big sister.
They’ve meant tea parties and sprinkler fights, movie nights, too many crafts to count, and moments that have made up the story of us the past 5 years together.
And today, they are the launching point of your life beyond our family.
Today, as we were driving home from our girl’s day together, a song came on the radio, and I felt like the Lord whispered to me, right where I was, the beauty within you, and He met my heart there, too.
And He reminded me, right there in our car, that smelled of leftover lunch and fresh shopping receipts, that the very nature of your name, “LUELLA” means carrier of light. You carry the very light, strength, passion, gentleness, and goodness of Christ in you.
And sweet baby girl, you are ready for that light to shine beyond the walls of our home.
This world needs your light, and we can’t hide you forever.
So today, as you walk through those doors, with excitement and nerves from within, I hope that you learn about the beautiful people in our diverse world, and find your place within it.
I hope that as you begin to shine your light when you see someone treated unfairly, that your heart is moved with empathy and stirred to action.
Because Little Bear, we all need that right now, and you’ve brought so much of that into our home from the moment you were born, it’s our time to release you to start paving your way.
And you are so ready, my darling.
You are going to be amazing.
You are going to have so much fun.
You are kind and brave and compassionate and we cannot wait to see you take off!
A letter to my baby on her first day of school.
‘May the Lord bless you, keep, and protect you. May the Lord smile on you, and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor, and give you his peace.’ –Numbers 6:24-26 NLT
We’re Matt and Dayna. Life Enthusiasts in the pursuit of a life enriched in God’s sustaining grace, empowering others to pursue the same. Two very imperfect people who wake up with bad breath, have days (sometimes weeks) of losing our patience, modeling to the world, each other, and our children, a life that points to Christ through our imperfection.
Most days you can find us chasing after our little heartbeats, Luella and Chase (4&2) This dynamic duo plays a big part in the heart behind The Pause Pursuit; a ministry empowering couples and families to slow down to pursue God and each other. In a media-saturated world, the comparison game is real, but so is real life. The Pause Pursuit is a safe place that combines the two. Where real life meets the sustaining power and pursuit of a real Jesus.
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