A Letter to Emmy the Day before Kindergarten

Dear Emmy,

I know we've only known each other for a year, but I think it's fair to say that we're friends. Ever since your auntie Ella and I started dating, you've been a regular part of my life. (In fact, you don't know this, but the first photo your auntie ever texted me was you and her at the Kelly Clarkson concert, and you had your tongue out, colored completely blue from cotton candy) When we first met in person last September, you immediately started explaining all of the coloring book art on your kitchen walls, which took about 20 minutes.

So let's just say I'm invested in your life.  We tease each other about burping and how high we can swing on the swing set.  But I also care about big landmarks in your life, and you've got a big one tomorrow.  You've been playing it cool the last couple weeks, but I'm excited for you to experience your first day of school.  So before the alarm goes off tomorrow morning, I wanted to give you some of my best/unused advice for tomorrow.  You know, like friends do.

First, before you get on the bus in the morning, make sure you hug your parents and tell them you love them.  Trust me, they are more freaked out about your first day than you are.  You gotta let em know you'll be ok, you can handle your stuff, and that they did a good job getting you ready...simply saying you love them is the easiest and quickest way to tell them that.

Once you get on the bus, try to sit in the middle.  Sitting too far back will make the bus driver think you're gonna be trouble all year, and sitting too close to the front makes it harder to make friends, since everyone is staring at the back of your head.  Also, if possible, sit in a seat that's empty.  That way, whoever ends up sitting next to you chooses you.  No matter who sits next you, do your best to be as kind as you can to them.  They'll be just as excited/nervous as you are about tomorrow.  Always remember that first person...the person that chooses you on your first day is also the person most likely to have your back throughout the year, and you should have their's, too.

When you get to your classroom, they'll assign you a cubby hole for the year.  If you have any say, try to get a cubby that's not on the bottom...kneeling on the ground to get your stuff can get gross, especially in the winter time.

Once you get to your class, introduce yourself to your teacher.  Whoever he/she is, I guarantee that he/she has been working hard for a few weeks to make sure your first day is awesome. Your teacher will help you learn A LOT over the next nine months, and I'm willing to bet that, when you're my age, you'll still remember your teacher's name.  So start strong by making an introduction/talking to him/her, just like you did to me when you gave me a tour of your kitchen art curation last September.  

While I'm talking about your teacher, let me say this: do your best to have a sense of awe and wonder when you're learning.  School is a burden for a lot of students, but if you think of learning as something you GET TO do, rather than something you HAVE TO do, you'll be more successful, and have fun doing it at the same time.

A couple more things...

You're a beautiful young lady. Be as girly as you want to be. But if there's something the boys in the class tell you you can't do "because you're just a girl", ignore them.  If there's something you like, that your good at, and you want to do, don't let other people's expectations keep you from it.  You're freaking exceptional, and sometimes other kids are intimidated by that, so they might try to keep you from being the best version of you. Ignore those people.

Finally, do your best to see the good in every kid in your class (AND the adults at your school, for that matter).  Every kid in your class is full of potential, and a compliment, a helpful hand, or an invite to play with you could make the difference between loneliness and joy in their day.

And who knows, you may end up making a friend for your next 13 years of school, and beyond...just like you did in your kitchen last September.

Love ya dude.  Be awesome.

Uncle Gweg