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Notes to a Kindergarten Teacher on the First Day of School

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This is the child who was in my thoughts
Long before she was in my womb.
She was named before she was conceived.

This is the child we thought we couldn’t have.

This is the child on whose birthday I wept
Because I realized that babies don’t keep
And that someday she would even
Go to kindergarten.

Well, now that day has come.

I’ve changed her diapers and changed her sheets.
She’s changed her clothes at least 5,000 times.

I’ve been her teacher, her disciplinarian,
Her buddy, her confidant and her albatross.

I’ve seen her first attempts at rolling over.
I’ve seen her almost do a cartwheel.
I’ve waited anxiously for her first word.
Now she used her logic to outreason and correct me.

I’ve watched her gaze at the world in amazement.
I’ve watched her lasso that world in her play.
I’ve watched her create sandcastles.
Invent her own carseat,
Design doll furniture.

I’ve watched her dance in dramatic delight.

Now I won’t get to watch quite as much.

You’ll be part-time watcher
Part-time keeper.

Please watch her carefully.
Please keep her well
And please, please help keep that
Sense of wonder in her gaze,
That creativeness and inventiveness in her work.

I know to you she is just one of many
And you don’t know her very well.

But I know that she calls tomatoes “potatoes”
And that she can follow directions to put a bun in my hair
And that she is not very tough.

And to me, she is one of not so many.

She is my firstborn.
She is the answer to our prayers
And she was in my heart even before she was in my womb.

by Anne Ridilla Troy

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