Sunday, August 24, 2014

Big Kid Stuff

Tomorrow morning, this little guy will head off to Kindergarten.

It sounds so cliche to say that it feels like yesterday that we were all at the hospital, awaiting his arrival into the world. But it does. Cliches may be tired, but that doesn't mean they're false. And it doesn't mean they don't make my heart ache just the tiniest bit.

The first time I became an aunt, I was 16, living 300 miles away. I missed all of this, and I didn't fully understand or appreciate what I was missing. The first words and first steps. The silly songs and scraped knees. The tiny hands around my fingers becoming bigger hands holding mine. Learning to tell a joke, ride a bike, write your name. I couldn't fathom how quickly Baby Stuff becomes Big Kid Stuff, and I couldn't imagine how much we'd miss that Baby Stuff again.

I didn't know how to be Aunt Deana back then, and I never really caught up. Even now, I sometimes feel that I'm just catching on. I'm thankful that I have friends who make me practice.

As I was driving home tonight, I found myself thinking about tomorrow morning. School will be starting for me as well, and even though it's the 15th first day as a teacher, I still get butterflies. Wondering how the day will go, worrying that I will forget something important, curious what my students will think. Seventh graders in my school come to me almost like Elliott will appear to his teacher: nervous but excited, curious but cautious, hopeful for a good day, a good week, a good year.

I would say that I'm worried, but I know my friend, Courtney has the market cornered on that, and rightfully so. But I am claiming "hopeful" for tomorrow as my wish for Ell is the same wish that I have for all of my students.

I hope:

  • you are more excited than nervous.
  • your dad packs your favorite lunch, maybe even with an extra dessert.
  • you like who you are sitting with.
  • you don't feel too lost.
  • you are kind and others are kind to you.
  • you make a friend.
  • you make lots of friends.
  • you (and your mom) have more smiles than tears.
  • you learn a little something.
  • your teacher makes you feel appreciated and welcome.
  • you go home, bubbling with stories, ready for the next day.

But mostly, Ell, I hope you always know how loved you are -- bigger than the sky and deeper than the ocean -- today, tomorrow, and every day. I can't wait to hear all about this next big adventure.


  1. You are a perfect Aunt Deana. That little boy has no idea how much he is loved and yes, it does seem like yesterday. Your post is the sweetest and most loving commentary for first day of school. I hope yours is equally as exciting and good as his. Love you.

  2. One thing I'd change...his daddy is making his lunches...I'm saddened I won't be there to hold his other hand and be somewhat reassuring, but Courtney will do a wonderful job...Deana you have such a wonderful way with words and being a great Aunt Deana...I'm thankful Courtney and the kids have you in their lives...oh yeah I do too...have a great 15th first day...

  3. I should've known that, Chris. Change made. Have a great first day, too.