A letter to Charlotte, two month’s shy of four year’s old:
My dear Charlotte,
I am so very proud of you. You have been to Kindergarten independently for three sessions. I knew you could do it, you just needed to believe it for yourself. These past weeks you have been oblivious to my presence at Kindi, but were scared to let me go. You are thriving at Kindi. It gives me so much joy to see you making friends and building trust in your teachers and gain confidence. You proudly say, ‘I’m a big Kindi girl, I don’t need Mummy anymore.’ I’ve shed no tears and neither have you. It’s been a gradual, beautiful letting go.
I’m so blessed to have shared these past few years so closely with you. We have built up such a strong connection and are so sensitive to each others needs.
You are a marvellous big sister to Sophie and so good at understanding her needs. Today we shared a beautiful cuddle and Sophie was a little jealous, she’s yet to learn to share her Mummy and you didn’t protest when Sophie needed me. I am so very proud of you and can’t say this enough!
Our celebratory afternoon tea, following your third independent day at Kindi:
Daddy has had to work late these past couple of night’s and again you were fabulous at going to sleep, as you know Sophie is just beginning the process of learning to go to sleep without needing Mummy. After Sophie had finally drifted off you said, ‘Three stories, please,’ and as I got on to the third (deliberately wordy book to send you to sleep) you drifted off as I started to read about Jupiter (the planet you want to ‘build’!).
You don’t really know this yet, but you are so special. You are astutely sensitive for your age (which is a wonderful gift in someways, but also a challenge for you to manage). We have wonderful support from Kindi and special needs are ensuring your personal attributes are met with all the care you deserve. Your emotions change so rapidly and your concentration span and attention to detail and order is incredible.
You love numbers, building and understanding the mechanisms of how things work. You love to be read to, but shy away from learning letters and forming them. I know you are creative, but not in a conventional way. You shy away from forming conceptual images (though I’ve seen you draw circles and triangles from an early age and know you have the ability to control a paintbrush or pencil to convey the images in your mind). You’ve never been a ‘girly girl’ and are a classic tom-boy (which I love about you). You love cars, trains, building. You dislike dolls and imaginative play with them – you say, ‘They are too real, but not real,’ and I can see that playing with them doesn’t make sense to you. You love to test your physical abilities and are at your happiest when letting your body release in full expression of your moods – be it through dance, bouncing on the trampoline or climbing.
Ball skills, as yet, don’t interest you, but testing your own physical limitations and boundaries gives you drive and satisfaction. You’ve always been independent and though this frustrates you at times (when you can’t physically do what you mind tells you to do), it is a wonderful strength and one which will see you develop into such a strong girl, given the right guidance (which I will always endeavour to give).
Please know that I always try to do my best for you and I love you so much. None of us are perfect, though many of us wish for perfection. It is hard to always strive for perfection and learn to let go and not beat ourselves up when we don’t meet up to the standards we set ourselves.
I remember my own beginnings at school. I know it isn’t easy, but it is so important to learn to get along with our peers and trust in other adults. Some of my favourite teachers from school still drive my actions today. Their passion for history, geography, languages,music or science has left an everlasting impression on me. No one person can give all that is needed to help a child grow. I will always be here for you. My love is never ending. Thank you for being you, you make me so proud.