Here We Go Again, Beautiful

Dear Goosie Girl,

How is it possible that summer is already gone and you’re in second grade? Weren’t you just that little girl on the first day of kindergarten who colored a picture of a bucket, and then drew a handle on your own because the people in the picture needed some way to carry the water and sand? And weren’t you just my little first grade sissy who was so excited to have recess on the big playground with all of the kids? It’s like I’ve closed my eyes for just a single day and a year has gone by when my eyes open.

But it’s not just yesterday. It’s an entire year of yesterdays that have passed us, and even in my disbelief, it’s true: today you are my favorite second grader ever. This year I want to learn to slow down and enjoy every moment you have in second grade, every new beginning and new friend and book to read and paper to write  and project to complete — because next year it will be the first day of third grade and I will look back and wonder to myself, “How is it even possible?” and “Where did it go???”

My wishes and hopes and dreams for this upcoming school year haven’t changed too much. I pray that your mind grows strong and full, that you always question what you’ve learned and that you stand strong in your beliefs. When I think about the little girl who’s grown up since the first day of first grade, I cannot help but me ridiculously proud of you. You are compassionate to other people and to animals. You are witty and funny and you have killer timing. Oh my goodness, the things that come out of your mouth just make me die laughing (a gem from you this morning: “I’ll just far in the blender because no one uses it anymore”) and I am so glad I take the time to write them down (another recent fav: “Wow, Sissy. You look like a character from Horton Hears A Who. Your hair is sticking straight up like a feather!”). And your mind, it’s just so open to learning. Please, please don’t lose that. I love it when you use words like “nemesis” and I love it when you can’t pronounce a word and you use its definition to figure it out (“I can’t say the word corup-coorp- it means ‘participating a lot’” [the word was cooperative]) and I love it when you shock your teacher by knowing things it’s almost impossible to know (like what a Venn Diagram is). Your intelligence is so beyond your years, and yet you still do the sweetest, smallest things that remind me that you still need us, like when you told me a few weeks ago, “I don’t say boo-boo [a word we used to use for a soft kid’s blanket/snuggly thing] anymore. I say blankie. Blankie sounds tougher than boo-boo.” Tougher to you, but nevertheless still endearing to your family.

This morning you were nervous and excited but not scared about starting second grade. I asked you, “Are you tired of me saying, ‘I can’t believe you’re a second grader!’?” and you said, very clearly, “YES!” After a rough start with your shirt (maybe we shouldn’t let you eat a fresh, juicy orange while wearing a white shirt) and another freak out with your shirt at school (you got wet sand on it, leaving a dark brown mark, but I reminded you: a dirty kid is a kid who had fun!), you basically ignored me the rest of the morning. I’m a little bit sad about that because it means that the days of you really needing us to be there with you are gone. It didn’t help that as soon as I got in the car a song I recently added to my iPhone, “Never Grow Up” by Taylor Swift, starting playing, and I sniffled and cried through these lyrics as I drove to work:

Your little hand’s wrapped around my finger
And it’s so quiet in the world tonight
Your little eyelids flutter ’cause you’re dreaming
So I tuck you in, turn on your favorite night light
To you, everything’s funny
You got nothing to regret
I’d give all I have, honey
If you could stay like that

Oh, darling, don’t you ever grow up, don’t you ever grow up
Just stay this little
Oh, darling, don’t you ever grow up, don’t you ever grow up
It could stay this simple
I won’t let nobody hurt you
Won’t let no one break your heart
No, no one will desert you
Just try to never grow up, never grow up

I guess I knew this day would come. I just didn’t expect that it would happen on August 23, 2011. I am lucky that you will always love us, even if you don’t need us in the same way any more. You, my goosie girl, have changed my life and I hope second grade changes your life for the better. I love you with all of my heart!

To my favorite sissy ever: I love you so much starfish, sister mister!

Love forever,
Sissy Krista

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