Dear Cassidy and Mackenzie,
Tomorrow is a huge day for both of you. For me too, actually.
Six years ago, I rocked a newborn Mackenzie in my hospital bed as her older sister went off to her first day of kindergarten. I made your daddy promise to take lots of pictures. And shoot video. And make sure that she wore the correct shoes with the brand new "first day outfit." And then I cried. A lot.
I also did the math . . . figuring that with the age difference between the two of you, Cassidy would be heading to middle school on the same day that Mackenzie would be greeting her kindergarten teacher. I quickly pushed the thought aside. THAT day was years away.
And yet, here we are. Tomorrow I will watch Cassidy ride away from my sight on the bus and then I will walk Mackenzie to her new school and into her new classroom. How this day arrived in what seems like the blink of an eye is beyond me. Impossible, actually.
Cassidy, I am so proud of you! I've watched you grow and mature through your elementary school years and admire you so much! I've cheered your victories and hurt for you during your struggles. I've watched you develop new talents, make new friends and experience new kinds of hurts. I've watched you come alongside your sister and encourage her in these past several years as she dove into preschool in anticipation of her turn at kindergarten. I wonder if you know that I overheard your conversation earlier tonight at bedtime when you assured her "you're gonna LOVE elementary school!"
What a cheerleader you've been . . . not only for her, but for the kids who won the student council elections that you lost or for the friends who just needed a hug for no particular reason. Believe me when I say that your school report card doesn't matter to me in the long run. It's the stuff of your heart and the desire to be a reflection of Jesus that makes the difference. I am praying tonight, that in spite of the new school, older kids and new experiences that are just around the corner for you, that you remember you are a child of the King! He has great plans for you. Don't ever forget to look to Him first as you navigate the waters ahead!
Mackenzie, my baby and brand new kindergartener, I knew you'd be more than ready for this first day for so long! From the time you were barely three, you advised me to "drop me off right here, Mom" on that first day we swung into the parking lot of your preschool. I knew you'd be going off to do your thing with hardly a glance back in my direction. Believe it or not, I'm ok with that. I know, deep in my heart, that I need to give you this freedom. It's part of my job, even if I don't always like it!
I hope that you will remember the importance of being Christ-like. As you adjust to being in kindergarten and out of the cocoon-like atmosphere of preschool, I hope you will remember those all-important skills that go beyond coloring, learning about letter sounds and the difference between upper and lower case letters. I hope it's stuff like sharing the crayons, waiting patiently for your turn at things, and recognizing when those teachers of yours might just need a hug that become second nature for you. I pray that you will enjoy days of being a leader, but also learn the importance of being a good follower. I pray that you will have success. I also pray you will learn lessons that teach humility.
To both of you sweet girls, I pray you will continue to be focused on Him . . . to let Him be the ultimate teacher, advisor and line leader! I pray that you will give Him your struggles and thank Him for your victories.
I pray all these things, my sweet girls, on this eve of your first day at a new school. I love you dearly!