What I Want You to Know

After I put the boys to bed last night, I began the task of completing the plethora of paperwork Ethan needed to turn in on his first day of Kindergarten. Emergency contact form, school pick-up option, student handbook, etc.

Then there was this one yellow sheet from the teacher that asked a bunch of questions about Ethan to help her get to know what kind of student he might be, like What kind of activities do we do at home? and What are his interests? I completed the questions as thoroughly as possible but as I read the last one, a lump formed in my throat.

Is there anything else you want me to know about your child?

I stared at the two thin black lines wondering just how I was supposed to fit all I wanted to say in that small amount of space. I came up with a few general things: he has lots of energy, he is looking forward to learning how to read. But if I could've, I'd have written much more.

Dear Ms. Stewart - here is what I really want you to know about Ethan...
He is honest to a fault. If your shirt is on backwards or your hair is a mess, he'll tell you. And because of this quality, you'll probably have many laughs in spite of yourself.
He is super affectionate. We struggle with teaching him about personal space. Some kids like hugs, others absolutely do not. Even though getting an arms-wrapped-around-your-neck kind of Ethan hug is one of the best things in the world, please help him understand that everyone needs their space. But if YOU are willing to give it a whirl - I promise you won't be disappointed.
As outgoing as he is, he has a very tender heart. His silly side is not to be outdone by his sensitive spirit. If he makes mistakes, by all means correct him. But please, oh please, be gentle with his heart. It is a challenge for me at home to look into those big hazel eyes and tell him no so I have no doubt it will be such for you. He will test you, I'm sure of it. However I know that in his heart he wants to do good. Please remember this when he squeezes the glitter glue too hard or interrupts you with his "I have an idea!" remarks.
Oh my, does this boy have an imagination! Every book comes to life in his sweet little head. And his stories can sometimes never end. When appropriate, encourage his creativity to soar and I'm positive you will be impressed. But don't believe everything he says. If he tells you he's going to Antarctica for a family vacation - chances are he's let his imagination get the best of him :)
Be patient with my boy. He has an argument answer for everything and a "but" for every "no". He sometimes needs a gentle reminder who is boss. It's enough to make me crazy so I'm sure you'll feel the same way, although with your teaching background you will probably have better techniques for handling such behavior (that doesn't involve locking yourself in a room so you don't lose your marbles).
Ethan is a tad bit girl crazy. This may (and most likely will) include you. At just 5 years old he has a very strong understanding of emotions and talks often about being "in love" and wanting to "marry" this girl or that. It's cute at first - then it's overwhelming. Keep him focused. Sit him with boys. 
Please please keep him safe. You must know how hard, how strange it is, that I'm entrusting you, a stranger I've only met for five minutes, with the care of my son for the majority of the day. I've been there for every bump, scrape and bruise and have always been there to give him a mommy kiss to make it better. He still needs those kisses - even if he tries to pretend that he doesn't.
Finally, just know how lucky you are. Ethan is one of a kind. He'll keep you on your toes and turn your heart to mush. He is one of my greatest accomplishments. Giving him over to you for this school year is hard on this momma's heart. He's an amazing kid inside and out and he will probably teach you things you never expected. I can guarantee that you'll remember him when he packs up his stuff to move on to the 1st grade. Enjoy every minute of him. Five years has gone by in a flash, so I know the next 9 months will fly by too.
Thank you for listening,
Ethan's mom 

That, my friends, is what I wanted her to know.

No, I didn't have the space to write it on those two little black lines, but I have no doubt that after just a few short weeks with him, she will know all of the above without me having to say a word. And if so? Then Kindergarten will be a success.


  1. What a sweet letter, Taryn! My heart is melting.

  2. As someone who has been in the education field for the past 10 years, I say send it in! Teachers want to know how very much their students are loved by their parents and she would certainly love to read these words. One of my colleagues has her parents write about their children "in a million words or less." It's an awesome assignment and she loves reading the results! I hope Ethan has a great first day!

  3. Girlfriend, if you don't send it in I am doing it for you. I'm at work, crying, and laughing at myself. I want a great big Ethan hug right now. Can't wait to hear all about his big day!

  4. Great post/letter. Awesome writing!
    And, having known Ethan for just six hours of his life, I can say that I knew he was one of a kind! So smart. :)

  5. Aw that is such a sweet letter!

  6. Love this! I have a new kindergartner, too. I could have written a book, but what I wanted to write was "I know hundreds of kids pass through this school, but this one is MY TREASURE. Handle with care, and realize how blessed you are to have her!"

  7. Now I have a lump in MY throat! What a sweet letter, and sounds like a very very sweet boy. I hope he had a good first day.

  8. I had a similar questionnaire, and also stumbled, trying to fit everything I knew into a few short lines. Love this post -- all so eloquently put!

  9. This is lovely, Taryn. And such a great reminder of why we blog...what a precious piece of your family's history. <3

  10. This was so very nice and lovely. My daughter starts Kindergarten next week. Big step. Bitter sweet. You're right about 5 years going by in a flash. Glad I found you and his post through Evin at FGLB.