Today I will take you shopping for the new school year. There are only 18 short days left until your father and I will take your hand; fit your brand new cupcake backpack onto your shoulders- and watch you make your way with your friends in the hall of your school.
This year is a big year; just like each year before. You’re going into Grade 3; and just like every year- this is the year you will become one of the big kids. You look forward to the new school year without any trepidation. You love school! You get along with your classmates- every one of them. Each year it seems you have more friends and endless memories. Your teachers love you and think you are a bright star in the room- lighting up with every task and question.
I’m happy for you, baby girl. I really am, but I will miss you SO much! You spoil me in the summer time. Every day, I still get my snuggles. Every morning, you tell me stories about everything you will be doing with your friends before the end of summer. There is always a new craft, dutifully made by your tiny hands. You come home and always ask to help prepare supper for yourself and your little sister.
I look forward to the sweet little messages you send me through the day from your grandmother’s house. “Hi mommy! I love you!”
As much as I wish I didn’t have to let you go, I know that I couldn’t hold you back if I tried. You will go off to school again, and inevitably you will grow another three inches before winter break. You will learn things I thought I didn’t learn until much later in life. All I hope is that your teacher will give you a little time to play. You are a kid, after all!
I asked you to write a list of things you needed for school and I was not disappointed.
This year we have a short list of supplies to find, you’ve been lucky to be treated well by your family this year and you have a closet full of clothes that fit well for this season and the next. You picked out your own lunch pail and backpack already. All that’s left are an outfit for the first day and a few things to make you feel truly special. On your list you’ve written only a handful of things:
A cupcake shirt
A cupcake necklace
A cupcake headband
A cupcake bracelet
And two pink squishy toys (one for you, and one for your best friend)
When I found your list I couldn’t help but smile.
The childhood innocence just radiated off the page. Every bit of your vision in your mind for the perfect first day of school revolves around the bag that we found together just days ago.
I can remember each year of back to school shopping with my parents. My father was (and still is) very practical. He would want to have an itemized list with exact sizes, and which specific stores we would go into for these items. We would only go to the stores on the list, and we would stop the very moment the list was fulfilled.
I can see the practicality in his method, however I look forward to helping you to find your dream list. If it was extravagant, I would talk with you about how important it is to stick to what you need. In my mind you are the sweetest child. You don’t ask for much. Every day you just ask to listen to your favourite radio station; you ask for a half hour of your favourite show. You want to be able to cuddle up close and help read at story time. Ideally; you love to have me with you for the evenings after I finish work. You want to be with me in the kitchen, you want me to be with you when you get to watch your shows.
Other than the typical lofty dreams of every child when it comes to your holiday list to Santa Claus, you are perfectly practical. I can’t believe how lucky I am to get to be your mother!
So come with me, little one. I’ll do my best to find you all the perfect cupcake pieces to complete your dream first day outfit. If I can’t be there with you to hold your hand and cheer you on, I will be there through this outfit you wear. I hope that when your friends comment on your choices you exclaim with the same enthusiasm you always have, “My mommy bought them for me! I picked them out myself!”
You’re only going to be little for a very little while. As long as you want to share this time with me, I am going to make the best memories with you that I can.
I love you to the moon and back, Shmoop.