Dear Finn – 5 Years

5 years ago I never could have imagined this moment.  As much as I tease you and you test my patience all some days, I can’t imagine a world without you in it.  You make everything vividly bright.  A world without you would be dark.

You allow me to see the world through your eyes, every moment an experience that is new and there are a million things you can learn.  You experience joy in an ordinary moment and your happiness is contagious.

I will never tire of hearing how you see things, the wonder you experience, the excitement, or how you process the world around you.  However, the less we could do of all that before 8a would be greatly appreciated.

It has sincerely been a pleasure and blessing for Daddy and I to be your parents.  Sometimes I wonder what we did with our time and money before you came along.  There are even the rare moments when I’m in the house by myself, and I am so happy to be alone.  However, without you, my time, money, and peace and quiet would be overwhelming.  Those pleasures only exist in contrast to the business, pinching pennies, laughter, and following me around the house when you ask me “whatcha doin’ Mama?”

In less than 3 short months, Daddy and I will drop you off at your very first day of school and one part of your life will be forever over.  Daddy and I made the conscious choice not to enroll you in preschool.

1. Kids get so little time to be kids before they jump in the rat race that is life.  We wanted to extend your kid time as long as possible.

2. You receive the same learning opportunities at the daycare you go to each day, but it is weaved so seamlessly into snack, art, play, outside time you have no idea all the learning you’re doing.  That is all thanks to your daycare provider who walks on water as far as I’m concerned…or as I like to call her…mom #2.

The day we drop you off for Kindergarten will be a very exciting (and little scary) first step into the next 13 years of your life.  I am sure I will have to remind myself (and that’s one of the best things about your Daddy, because he’ll remind me too) that my sadness in seeing a chapter of your life end must be protected from you.

I want to send you off on that first day with hugs and kisses and excitement in your step.  I don’t want to be the mom who is hanging onto their child, forcing them to stay where it is comfortable and familiar for the parents.  Trusting other people, even teachers, with my very heart and soul, is incredibly scary for me.

However, if I do my job right, no matter how hard it is for me or how my heart is breaking, you will never know how sad and scary it is for me.  That is a burden that I must carry on my own and I could never forgive myself if I asked you to share in some the weight.  My hope and prayer for you is when you are sending your son or daughter off to Kindergarten, there will be 95% happiness and excitement of all the adventures to come.  That will mean I’ve done my job.

I just really never imagined 5 years would pass so quickly and in some ways I want you to stay my baby boy forever.  You will always be my baby.  It is my job to give you roots and wings so you can fly wherever you choose when the time is right for you.  This is your first test flight out of the nest and I have no doubt it will be much harder on me than it will be on you.

One thing I do hope you learn from me is that when you are scared and worried, that doesn’t mean we stop.  That means we take a deep breath, move forward, asking for help when it’s needed.  If we let worry and fear make our choices for us, we will end up living in such a tiny bubble.  That’s not what life is about.  Life is about moving forward, making mistakes, getting hurt, learning, loving, and laughing.  I know that’s what you will do in this next chapter of your life.

And I do remind myself of the very exciting and wonderful new experiences we get to embark on together.  Making friends, taking another step toward independence, and learning who you are and what you love to do.  I can’t wait to go shopping for your school supplies, new clothes, sign up to volunteer in your classroom, burst with pride when you are proud of a job well done, watch while you play on a team, do homework, sound out words, fight about practicing your instrument, threaten (and follow through) to take away your TV time if you don’t read enough, have you show me around your room and introduce me to your teacher.

And a million other big and small moments that will make this next chapter in your life just as great and just as difficult as the past one.  So until that day when Daddy and I will send you on your way to Kindergarten (and then go home and bite our nails until we can pick you up and hear all about it) I will treasure every moment of this last summer that you have as just a kid.

And if I could go back and tell myself one thing 5 years ago, it would be…go get your gallbladder removed so you don’t have pancreatitis.

…just kidding (well kinda)…

I would also say to breathe in each moment, because even though a moment might feel like an infinite amount of time, like when you would wake me up at 2a and wouldn’t stop crying no matter what I did and I had to be to work in 5 hours, the years will fly by before you know it.  And what I wouldn’t give to go back for 5 minutes in the middle of the night, to sit down, rock and sing you a lullaby, while imprinting your sweet baby smell in my memory for all time.



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