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.
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.
- 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.