Monday, September 2, 2013
The Most Important Post I'll Ever Write
Hi, baby girl.
I know you triple-dog loathe when I call you Baby.
You know I don't mean it in any other way besides lovey, right?
It's not about what you are, it's about who you are.
You're going to Kindergarten in the morning, baby girl.
My entire heart, up on that big yellow school bus, and disappearing around the corner.
We've been waiting for tomorrow for a thousand yesterdays, haven't we?
You, for all the positive strawberry-scented, glittery awesomeness of it all.
Me, for all the rest of the gray thunderclouds replete with icy fog and straight-line winds.
I know ... I KNOW. Drama. Of course I am excited for you. Delighted for you. Proud of you.
That's what you do for the ones you love the most.
Remember when you were four and you were counting down turning five?
Then when you turned five on a Friday, you wanted to know if Kindergarten would start the very next day, or if you had to wait until Monday? We shit the bed on that one, your Dad and I. We didn't know you were that excited ... but yeaaaaaaaay! It's here now! Way to go, waiting 270 days to actually go to school!
See? You can do anything you set your pretty little mind to.
If I really want to wimp out on tomorrow, and make excuses like, you're my only child, so I only get to do this first day stuff one time, and one time only, I believe I have the right to do so. But I won't. This isn't about me, actually. It's really all about you. And, because I have only given birth to one physical human, doesn't mean you're my Only Child. I sorta hate that. If I had five other babies and was completely insane and overrun by smallish people needing everything from me all the time and you were the captain of that crazy ship, you would still be my Only Child. I hope that makes sense. You are my only you ... you made me a Mama, and you have the great privilege of wearing that badge of honor all the rest of your days. That's some serious armor. Keep that shit shiny, baby girl.
Back to you.
You have an important job tomorrow.
Tomorrow, you have to be yourself.
I know your hair will be all disastrous.
Your manicure, defunct.
You won't eat your lunch.
You won't wash your hands.
You'll chew on your shirt, or your hands.
You'll roll up your sleeves, and stash away your hoodie.
But that's you, and that's all I want you to do tomorrow.
I would like to whisper to you to be brave. To not whine, fortheloveofeverythingholywiththewhining. To have fun. To listen to your teacher(s). To not say serious, dude? all day long. To try hard. To eat well. To have fun.
I will take your perfect little face, with your new freckles, old scars, missing teeth, and gigantic eyeballs and I will say, "Lil' Dude ... you go be you. I will wait right here for you. I love you more than all the whipped cream at Starbucks, and more than all the songs. You got this."
That's it for jobs, swear.
Kindergarten is a job in and of itself, and this will be the first of many many Septembers where I say the same thing to you as I kiss you goodbye on your first days.
Now ... favors.
I might ask you to do me a favor.
I know you are going to be so rad tomorrow. I am not worried about you.
I am worried about them.
All the other children who will be your classmates and village and community for a long, long time.
You have your Mama's instinct and sensitivity, so you'll know who I am talking about, I just know it.
They won't seem happy or excited, or even faking it well.
They might not have new clothes for school.
Or anyone who grabbed them by the face in the morning and told them to be themselves.
They might not look like you, or speak like you, or have the material things you have.
But they need you.
And really, now is the time.
So, if you could do your Mama one favor, and look for those children? Feel for those children?
I didn't give you any jobs for tomorrow.
Just one favor.
But one tiny spirit on one tiny day in one tiny town in one tiny place might save one tiny person.
I believe that with everything I have. I should have believed that in 1985, when I got on my very first bus. Or in 1989 when I moved 130 miles away to a new neighborhood and town. I should have believed that in 1992 when I entered middle school, or 1995 when I began my Freshman year of high school, and I sure as hell should have believed that in 1998 when I moved into the dorms.
Give them your last cracker.
Let them use your notebook.
Give it to them, whatever.
We can replace stuff.
Wait for people to catch up.
Look them in the eye.
Don't let them sit alone, or outside of anything.
Speak up for them, if they cannot speak for themselves.
Please, baby girl.
Now- these are not your jobs. They sound like work. They're not.
Your only job tomorrow- and for the rest of your life while I am at it, is to be you.
It's technically not your job to look out for other people, to put their needs first, to address their situations, or to assess their pain.
But it would be a favor ... one small favor.
And I know you're the right person for that job.
I'll see you when you get home.
It might so happen that I'll be just casually hanging out at the end of the driveway at 2:20pm. Maybe.
I can't wait to hear everything you have to say.