On her first day of kindergarten she held my hand tight, scared of what waited for her in that new classroom, at this new school, after her parents left. Her progress has been slow, but sure. She's made friends, gained confidence, and discovered how to use her tiny voice in big ways.
It's so hard to let them out into the world, where you can no longer protect them all the time. You can only hope that the world is gentle, and takes its time to reveal its flaws. I couldn’t have asked for better teachers, and I’m grateful for the classroom they built. They were kind, compassionate, and patient with my shy little girl.
I remember getting a message from one of them, months into the school year, “She’s raising her hand in class and answering questions! I try to always call on her to encourage her to keep raising her hand.” Sometimes the quiet ones are easy to miss among a very loud class of 5 year olds. But her teachers never stopped looking out for her.
Today, on her last day of kindergarten, she let go of my hand and ran to line up with her class. I was in the middle of singing an impromptu last day of school song and she left me in the dust. I’m so grateful for the teachers, friends, and other parents who made school a place where she's grown to feel safe. And I'm so proud of my little girl who is always willing to see what waits on the other side of her fears.
Next up: 1st Grade!