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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dear Tyler

Dear Tyler:

Today I dropped you off for your very first day of Kindergarten! You have been looking forward to Kindergarten for months and have been counting down the days-telling everyone we see how many days there are left till Kindergarten starts! The thing you were MOST excited about about going to "real" school was that you would get to ride the bus!! During the last year of pre-school Teacher Jen took your class on the Logan city bus several times for different field trips and you loved it! Unfortunately I'm not real keen on the idea of you riding the bus with so many older kids-especially because I don't know any of them-and am not quite sure I'm ready to put you in that kind of environment yet. But I know how much riding the bus means to you, so we've come to an agreement that I will take you to school in the morning and you will ride the bus home from school since it will just be other kindergartners riding with you.

We started off our 'first day of school traditions' last night when daddy gave you your first Father's blessing for school. It was beautiful! You were a little squirmy because you said daddy's hands were "heavy" on your head, but you faithfully kept your eyes closed the whole time (obviously I did not :) ). You're Heavenly Father knows and loves you very much Tyler! It was a neat thing for me to be able to be apart of, I felt the spirit VERY strong! I'm so thankful for the Priesthood in our home.

Then, this morning you woke up at 7:15 READY to get this show on the road! School doesn't start till 9:00 so we had plenty of time to get you ready, but you wanted to start now! I had just gotten out of the shower so I told dad to start your special first day of school breakfast-apple pancakes! He did a great job!!

You were so surprised and thought they were THE coolest thing ever!

After eating a couple-you just couldn't sit still any longer-you jumped in the shower and then carefully took your time getting dressed in the outfit you had picked out the day before. You looked so handsome in your striped dark blue shirt and grey shorts and were very proud of yourself for picking out an outfit that matched. You wanted to wear your new grey shoes, even though they were a little big  (and you came home with a blister on your heel-ouch) and brushed your teeth slowly making sure all that syrup from the pancakes was gone! You brushed your hair (which I only had to fix a little) and slung your brand new Avengers back-pack across your back. "I'm ready!" you sang out!

We took lots of pictures before we left to take you to school so we were running late!


We pulled into the parking lot at 8:50 and fought through the crowd of other nervous parents and excited 5 year olds waiting on the kindergarten playground in front of the school. Kids were lined up around the fence of the playground, standing by the colored signs that had their teachers name written on it. I glanced around...Mrs.Shelton, Mrs. Black, Mrs. Harper, Mrs. Titus-There! "There's your teachers sign!" I shouted. I reached down to grab your hand to help you know where to go, but you had already left my side, jogging toward the green paper tapped to the fence holding the name of the women who would soon become your teacher. Your guide through your first year of school. The person who will read to you, make you laugh, teach you about the world around you, tell you it will be ok when you get hurt, and inspire you to learn for 3 hours a day. You walked up to her name and stood under it smiling back at me, proud of yourself for figuring out what to do on your own. As I snapped out of my surreal state, I realized that you were the only person standing there. I quickly glanced around, panicking that somehow I had led you to the wrong place when out of the corner of my eye I saw a line of children disappear around the corner of the red slide. I grabbed your hand, forcing you to need me one last time, and ran around the jungle gym just in time to see Mrs. Titus's plump, round frame enter the school. Her pink flowery skirt and attractive cream cardigan gave her an extra sweet and welcoming look that seemed to say, don't worry, he's in good hands. As her caring eyes darted about they gave off a trusting vibe and the simple wrinkles around their corners testified she'd done this dance before. A quick, dimpled smile goodbye to the parents looking on-hands clenched tight around their middles-showed her love for the children obediently mimicking her every move. As she glanced back to make sure her little ducklings were following along, I noticed her short blonde hair, styled with slight curls, bounced around when she moved and framed her smiling face perfectly. But as sweet as her demeanor seemed to be I still wanted to run up to her, grab her by the shoulders, look right into her eyes and shout,

                   "Listen lady, you take care of him! You don't know anything about him yet, but he is patient and loyal and kind-sometimes to a fault-so don't let those kids run all over him. He loves to build with legos and has an engineer minded brain like his father. He is good at puzzles and numbers and can drive me crazy with all the ideas he can come up with in one day. He is shy, but smart so don't let his not answering a question fool you. He is sensitive and the slightest negative remark can send him walking away with his head hung down. He is constantly in another world and you will have to work to keep him focused, but he learns quickly and is eager to please. Praise him and he will flourish. Encourage him and he will rise to the occasion. Please, please take care of him. I trust you!"

But I couldn't do that. I couldn't even manage to get a wave in before her plain, brown flats carried her hurried body away behind the heavy, turquoise, metal door. All I had was one glance. One glance where our eyes met for 1.3 seconds, and I used every millisecond to plead to her...please, please just love him. See in him what I see in him. And then she was gone. I didn't read her eyes because I was too busy doing all the talking. Hopefully she understood me.

After that, I pointed out to you the last kid in the line that you were to follow into the building. Some goofy looking kid with shaggy brown hair and a dark blue back-pack. (Don't worry, your Avengers back-pack was way cooler.) You re-confirmed the boy I had pointed out and asked worriedly, "Him mom?" "Yes! Hurry go, follow him. That's your class going into the school now." I told you. "OKAY!" you shouted, nerves gone and excitement eagerly taking its place, and you bounced off toward what would become-up to this point-"the best day EVER!" I quickly ran in front of you, trying not to let my nerves come across to you, and said, "Wait! I need a kiss!!" You laughed and said, "oh yea!" and let me pull you in for a quick smooch, a two second hug and a flash of your left-dimpled smile. I felt the tears coming so I quickly stood up and looked the other way, scanning the parents around me for a mom who was letting her emotions get the better of her as well. I came up empty-handed. I gulped down the lump in my throat, refusing to be the one mom who couldn't let their kid go and turned back to wave a last goodbye, a fake smile plastered to my face. Only you weren't there.You had already run, or jumped or skipped into the school (I'm guessing ran) and that was it.

You did awesome. 
(pics after school)

You were excited and brave and confident and eager and full of hope. Absolutely everything I wanted you to be. Everything I hoped the first day of Kindergarten would be for you. Everything I've prepared you to be, to be a successful, independent, happy child. And while all this should have made me happy, in that moment it tore me apart. It meant that you had grown up. (Something I am avidly against by the way :) ) I guess every parent wants to know they have done their job well, and you walking away from me today, a smile on your face and excitement bursting out of your little body meant I had. I guess I just didn't expect a job well done to hurt so much.

But I survived, you survived and tonight as I sit here writing this I am SO SO SO happy for you! I am excited to see where this journey of life will take you and want you to know I am here for you every step of the way. Sometimes I will be in the shadows, sometimes I will be behind you, sometimes I will be next to you, and sometimes I will be right in your face! But no matter, I will always be with you. Happy first day of the rest of your life. You're off to a great start.

i love you forever and ever,

P.S. You brought this paper home from school today. I asked you why you started writing random letters after your name and all annoyed you said, "mom, it says Tyler James B..."B" is for Bricker you know." Haha! You've never written your middle name on any paper so maybe Kindergarten makes you feel official?!?!