Friday, June 11, 2010

Dear Daughter

I could start with all your typical clichés: I can’t believe you’re finishing Middle School and about to start High School. Where does the time go? When did you get so old?

However, if there is one thing I learned from your brother, it is that time truly does fly and, in the blink of an eye, little ones grow up to be young adults.

I remember so clearly your first day of preschool. You and your friends were so excited, ready to learn and play.

You have always had such a wonderful attitude about life. “I’m going to meet lots of new friends today,” you told me one day on our way to your brother’s soccer tournament, swinging my hand and bursting with excitement.

Today, I see your worry, your fear. I hoped you might be immune to that uncertainty, but of course you aren’t. Yes, high school can be intimidating, physically and emotionally. It is big and full of older kids who drive and shave.

It is hard to leave a place where you feel in control and at the top of your game, and go to a strange building where you will be low man on the totem pole; a mere Freshman.

Fear not though. Those surrounding you were also Freshmen at one time, no matter what they say or how they act. (They are actually younger than your brother and his friends, and you can handle them.)

If I have one piece of advice for you, it is this: stay true to yourself. Your environment will change. Your teachers will change. Your interests may change. Your friends may change. And parts of you will change. But the true you, the little girl who grabbed my hand that sunny afternoon long ago and pronounced that she would meet lots of new friends, she will always be in there.

On that first day of school, when you face that large brick building for the first time, searching for your locker and a familiar face, channel that younger you. Put a smile on your face and think, I will meet lots of new friends today! And you will, I promise you.

The next four years will fly by, and I will be lamenting about sending you off to college (bite my tongue!) sooner than either of us want to think. Live in the moment, appreciate the time, and have fun. You will succeed! You are the middle child, after all, used to fighting for time and attention. You will succeed! And soon enough, you will be that upperclassman, ruling the school and intimidating the Freshmen class.

Congratulations, my little girl! Go get ‘em!

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