Monday, August 24, 2015

A Letter to Connor

My big boy starts kindergarten in a couple weeks. Since he went to preschool full time last year, this doesn't seem like a big deal most of the time. But it is. This year starts the next thirteen years of his life. Thirteen years of school buses, homework, play dates, hurt feelings, stress, and after school activities. Thirteen short years before he goes off and leaves his mama. Some thoughts before you go, big boy:

Dear Connor,

     You start kindergarten in a couple weeks. I'm so excited for you.

     I have so many hopes for you. I hope you learn a lot. Despite what you may think, you don't yet know everything. Let your teachers teach you--and more importantly, don't forget that your classmates have a lot  to teach you too. Make sure you stop talking long enough to listen to them. Share the spotlight.

     I hope you learn to face challenges head-on and don't give up right away. You are so smart, and a lot of stuff comes easily for you. This makes it even harder for you when something is a have a tendency to be very hard on yourself and give up if you don't get it the first time. Know that some things will be a challenge, and that is good. Overcoming those things is what will make you stronger.

     I hope you never lose your enthusiasm for learning.You just love school and learning new things. I hope you always feel that way. Challenge yourself; go above and beyond expectations. Always raise your hand and take risks--even when you get up to the middle school where that isn't always the most popular way to be. The day you come home saying you're bored will break my heart. Your positivity and enthusiasm are some of your best traits. I want to be like you.

    I hope you never feel lonely, left out, or picked on....but it most likely will happen. I worry about this especially with you, because you are such a sensitive kiddo. Every hurt you feel, I will feel right along with you. But remember that those times will pass---and you have, in your own words, "thousands of people" that love you. Don't let the mean kids win.

     Probably most importantly of all: I hope you are always kind. I have been proud of you since the day you were born, but nothing makes me prouder than seeing you be a big brother to Brycey. You know how protective you are of him?---scolding mama for scolding him.....telling grandparents to take good care of your brother.....making sure there are no injustices for him....bragging to your teammates and friends about how well he's walking (even without his braces!), telling everyone you meet that THAT'S your little brother!--do that for others too. There may not be kids in your class with Down syndrome, but there will be kids that struggle. There will be kids that need protecting. Help them. Protect them. Stand up for them. Be kind to them. Just like you will want kids to do for Bryce.

    Do I want you to be rich and successful so you can provide for ME someday? Of course :) Do I want you to become a world famous paleontologist, or race car driver, or chef, or whatever you end up dreaming of? Of course. But more than anything, I want people to remember what a nice boy you were. Your three-year old preschool teachers described you as a ray of sunshine, that class just wasn't the same without you there. That's what I want you to strive for. Be a positive, sunshiney addition to your classroom. You certainly have been for our family. I love you whole world.

xoxo, Mommy