the one about how she couldn't

Another school year is upon us, and I am pinching myself as I realize that it was one year ago when I was dropping my oldest child off for her first day of Kindergarten. I remember trying to swallow down the lump in my throat to the point that it physically hurt. Tears burned my eyes as I put on a brave face and smiled and waved and blew kisses and wished her well.

First Day of Kindergarten

An entire school year, and an entire summer later, and here we are....about to do this whole thing again. We have spent the past few weeks preparing for this day. Shopping for school supplies, picking out to new shoes, ordering new uniforms, and filling out paperwork...the process has been mostly enjoyable as I see how excited Noelle is to return to her beloved school.

Last Day of Kindergarten

But tonight, as I was packing the first of many, many lunches for this year, I thought to myself, "I should put a note in her lunchbox."

I didn't do this last year because...well...she couldn't read. Every now and then I might slip a post-it with a smiley face or an I Love you, but I never did a note because I knew she couldn't read.

But now she can. Now she reads.

So, with tears in my eyes, I folded up a card and tucked into her pink and purple leopard print lunch box with a sequined tie-dye heart (as you might imagine this was not the one I wanted her to pick, but I'm rollin' with it...).

It struck me just how much she couldn't do last school year, but now she can.

She couldn't write her last name, but now she's got all 11 letters of that sucker down pat.

She couldn't tie her shoes, but now she's a pro.

She couldn't remember her address or her phone number (and by that I mean my cell phone number because...home line? what's that?)...but now she recites them to a peppy little tune she created herself.

She couldn't put her head (or chin for that matter) under water in the swimming pool, and now she jumps off the diving board.

The list could just go on and on and on and on.

Children are just amazing. They learn despite the circumstances. They succeed despite the failures. They run despite the fatigue. They smile despite the fear.

We have so much to learn from our children if we would just let them teach us.

And honestly? It scares me a little to think of what she can't do right now, but will be able to do by the end of this year.

But it's a happy kind of scared. A proud kind of scared. An excited kind of scared.

I have always said that we aren't raising children, but we are raising adults, and heading off to school is just one step in that process.

So here's to Noelle, and to your child, too....and all their couldn'ts.

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