To my daughters' future Teachers,
Hi there. I hope you had a great summer, and are feeling relaxed, rejuvenated, and excited to start the school year. I hope all this with all my heart, because in just a few weeks my daughters will be meeting you for the first time, in their first formal education setting, and I want more than anything in the world for them to be as happy with you as they have been at home with us. Please don't misunderstand me, I really am excited for them, and I am excited to go back to work. But you see, my husband and I are teachers, too, and my family has spent the last two months playing and learning and relaxing and cuddling, and enjoying our sweet, sweet summer. School can be a wonderful, magical place. I loved it so much that I never wanted to leave, hence the teaching. And I want that for my precocious, smiling, thoughtful, sweet, inquisitive girls, too.
I wish that I could tell you about the Hot Wheels tracks that have changed our living room into noisy races, or about how the tent became a spaceship to the moon. I'd love to be able to show you how Sherry learned to swim underwater, and Bailey took her first lessons without Mommy in the pool. I want to introduce you to Lily Ana and Jenny, the dollies who became like third and fourth children in our family. You've got to see the projects they did with Daddy in the garage, and watch as they help to hit nails and drive screws with confidence. I wish I could explain to you all the little glittering moments that made us giggle as we grow up together as a family, so that you will love them like I do. Because I really am scared. Terrified, even. I'm worried that with the chaos of a classroom you'll miss the trillion tiny things that make my girls the absolute center of my existence.
This will be the first time that the girls will not be together every day. It will be the first time they have to operate within a true structure, as opposed to the cozy, gentle home daycare where they have spent the last two years holding hands while napping, kissing each other's booboos when they fell, encouraging each other's "work", and confidently reassuring one another that Mommy or Daddy will be there soon to pick them up. I want to know that you will reassure them when they're scared about being without their best friend. I need to know that when Sherry is frustrated because she drew her "b" backward again, you will know how to calm her perfectionism; that when she is shy and can't find her words, you will help her find a friend; that when she is excited about learning you will light the fires behind her eyes and help me show her the world. I need to know that you can help Bailey wrap up a baby doll in a blankie; that you will kiss her booboos when my little monkey climbs too high and falls; that you will guide her to friends and laughter. I need you to love them, in all their imperfect, beautiful variations. I want them to fall in love with you, and you with them, even though it will break my heart when they love another woman.
I hope your summer left you ready to tackle this school year with enthusiasm, innovation, and love. I'm ready, but I'm scared. I need you to bring your A game. And I promise, that as both a Mommy to my daughters, and a teacher of your children, I will bring mine.
With hope, a teacher-mommy