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Dear Son, Happy First Day of Kindergarten

--- 5 Years, 2 Months ---

Dear Son, 

Today, you started Kindergarten. And like every parent present for the first day of school, your mother and I had all the feels and emotions. From watching you line up among your new classmates to standing there with your "big boy bookbag" and your Spiderman lunch box, all of it felt as momentous and season-opening as "firsts" bring. 

Yet, it was more than the "firsts" and the seasonals, or even the pictures and everything else that felt remarkably different that morning. It was the journey to this point, especially as of late - I knew you were ready for this for a couple of months now. I've been so confident that you were prepared, and you are! I could tell how stagnant the last couple of months of summer camp felt. You needed a new challenge and a new environment to push you. Finally, here we are. 

At the same time, I couldn't have been more proud this morning. You handled the anxiety and drops of fear that were riddled on your face as...well, a big boy! It's no secret that you are slow to engage new spaces and people, and your participation this past spring in tee ball really helped spur an ability to challenge those moments and experiences this early in your life. You've been a different individual since - parlaying that courage into an excitement for karate. 

However, again, watching you walk into school, head of the line, as a student, it was surreal. Because there are so many memories and moments that I remember - that I actually remember and can recite vividly as an adult - from Kindergarten, and I'm excited for what is to come for you. 

I'm also soooooo incredibly thankful for the time I had with you thus far. COVID, with all of its negatives, gave me the opportunity to be THERE. For so much of your toddler years - I had that opportunity to be around and watch every moment. I NEVER took that for granted. I'm so incredibly grateful for it.

Now, you'll spend most of your days away from me. From school to your days at the Boys and Girls Club - you've got your own life. With all of it, you'll truly begin your own journey. Forming those early memories that you'll take with you. 

That's pretty awesome. I'm smiling incredibly as I type this. 

Happy first day of Kindergarten, kid. 

Go do your thing. 

Love, Dad

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