It is finally here. The day she has been counting down for over a year…. and no I’m not even kidding about that.

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Rory is a Kindergartner.

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It took four outfit changes last night for her to finally decide on this outfit. And I am not gonna lie- I could not have been more thrilled to see that tutu. Some things will never change. I needed that tutu to remind me she’s still the same girl, just now at big school.

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Rory,

Last night when I was making your “first day” sign, I cried huge crocodile tears for so many reasons. Memories flooded me at that moment of all these years we have had together. I’m so thankful that my #1 job has been to be your mom. Nothing has made me feel more proud than to have you as my daughter.

You have tested me and made me giggle all within seconds for years. There were many times I couldn’t wait for you to go to Kindergarten so you could test someone else, ha! Your toddler years were hard at times because I just wasn’t ready for a child as magnificent as you. You have blown my mind with how you like to experience every.single.detail. of every.single.thing. you see. For so long we battled because I wasn’t wise enough to let you be strong willed. I didn’t understand your “engineering” brain and tried to make you have a brain more like mine. That was a failure on my part because I wouldn’t want you to change one thing about your personality or the way you think.

That is my biggest fear and therefore my biggest prayer for you as you start your new journey into school. I don’t want anyone to ever try to put you into a box again. I want you to soar with your own uniqueness.

I want your teacher to love you for YOU. I want her to love every quirk and every detail about you. For so many years I have been your main caretaker and your biggest cheerleader and I’m going to be real honest- it is so hard to pass that torch onto someone I don’t know. That right there is the hardest part to me.

I’ve been praying for your teacher for a long time now- that she will let you be yourself and love your strong willed nature. That she will nurture and love you like your momma does. She’ll never love you as much, but I’m hoping she is a close second.

Today is hard because I know how ready you are, but I’ve found myself not so ready. The house is so quiet without you in it. But I know with everything in me that Kindergarten is going to be amazing for you. You are going to soar at school. You are so much like your daddy and you absolutely love to learn. I am so thankful for that.

Driving you to school today was like torture. I knew I needed to be brave, just like I’ve told you to be for so many years now, and I knew I couldn’t cry before dropping you off. So I choked back the tears on the two minute drive to your school and just prayed for God to stop the stinkin’ tears until later.

When we got to the school they had us all go into the cafeteria to sit for a minute and it was so cold in there. You immediately asked if you could snuggle in my lap and IT TOOK EVERYTHING IN ME TO NOT BAWL LIKE A BABY. Oh, how I needed just one more snuggle before Kindergarten. So we sat there and I put on a smile and kissed your head and smelled you (moms are freaks) and savored every second of that snuggle.

Then we went into your classroom. You found your name and started to play and looked at me like, “when the heck are you going to get out of here?!” All the other parents were standing around and some kids were crying. Not you. You immediately dove into the play-doh and starting making something with the intense concentration that makes your tongue stick out. I knew it was time. Even if all the other moms were still there, I knew it was time.

I bent down and gave you one last hug and kiss. I told you how much I loved you and how proud of you that I am- you weren’t paying me any attention but I said it anyway because I always need you to know that.

Then you looked at me with those big brown eyes and said, “Mom, I got this,” with a huge smile on your face.

You are so right, Rory, you got this.

You’ll be proud to know that your momma didn’t cry until she got to the car. And then I sobbed HARDCORE. I cried all the way home. I cried into my cup of coffee. And now I’m crying into my keyboard.

I’m so incredibly proud of you. You were made for Kindergarten. This is the time I get to sit back and watch you shine. I cannot wait to see what God does in you this year.

No one will ever, EVER, love you as much as I do Rory- don’t ever forget that.

To the moon and back,

Mom

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