I remember your first day of Kindergarten, in September 2009.
You were so excited and so were we!
You chose to wear your “Life is Good – PB & J” t-shirt as you thought it would be fun for your classmates to know how much you like to eat PB & J sandwiches and so they would know what you would be having in your lunch that day.
We were anxiously awaiting the birth of your sister Abby, who was due to be delivered by a scheduled c-section nine days later.
We were missing your sister Molly, who had been gone for almost 17 months, and were grateful to find a penny after school helping us to feel that she was watching over us, especially you, on such a big day/milestone in your life.
Now you are a 4th grader. Where does the time go?
You are still excited and so are we!
We picked out your outfit for your first day of 4th grade tomorrow together, it’s a bright yellow polo shirt with a tidal wave design on it. We talked about how it symbolizes the transition you (and all of us) are making from summer vacation back to our regular school year routines.
You are attending a different school then you did for Kindergarten. This will be your fourth year at Keller Regional Gifted Center and we feel blessed and lucky you get to attend another awesome Chicago Public School that isn’t too far from our home.
We have many first day of school traditions that we began years ago, which we will continue tomorrow, including a special breakfast, pictures wearing your backpack, taking you to school (instead of riding the bus) and going for ice cream at Rainbow Cone afterwards.
Kindergarten was a bittersweet milestone for us to mark with you four years ago. I continue to have mixed emotions every first day of school, as it is a reminder of how time moves on and we all keep growing older. It is awesome and overwhelming at times to watch you develop into the older boy that you are becoming.
Sean, though you challenge us daily as you learn more about and navigate your world, we are so proud of you and we love you very much!
You would be starting Kindergarten tomorrow.
It is surreal to think about how different things could be if you had lived longer.
It is also bittersweet seeing so many pictures and posts on Facebook about friends and family members who have children starting Kindergarten this year.
As we say in our Caring Connection support group, it’s possible for us to be sad for ourselves and happy for others at the same time. That is how I feel when I think about what might have been, while still being able to celebrate this milestone with our loved ones who are sending their sons and daughters off to begin grade school.
I sometimes wonder what you would look like as a 5-year-old. Would you love wearing dresses everyday, like your little sister Abby? What first day of school outfit might we have picked out together for you? What kind of backpack would you carry?
When we go to Rainbow Cone tomorrow after school, to celebrate your big brother Sean’s first day of 4th grade, know that you will be on our minds and in our hearts, as always. I so wish you could go with us and choose your favorite flavor of ice cream to enjoy. But since you aren’t able to be with us in person, we believe you will be watching over us again and will keep our eyes out for any pennies or butterflies you want to send our way on such a special day.
Molly, we miss you and love you very much!
You have two more years until you begin Kindergarten.
You were so excited to begin preschool last year! I remember the first day you put on your backpack (with Disney Princesses on it), like your big brother, you wanted me to take your picture, as you had seen us do before with him.
You have two more weeks before you start your second year of preschool and I look forward to having some special time together between now and then, just the two of us, while Sean is at school.
I know how you look up to your big brother and how much fun you will have with us tomorrow celebrating his first day of 4th grade! You will relish in taking Sean to school and picking him up afterwards with me, followed by our trip for ice cream to Rainbow Cone.
Though it is bittersweet for me to think about what our life and family would be like if your big sister Molly had lived longer and was starting Kindergarten tomorrow, I find peace and comfort in believing she is always watching over us and had a hand in sending us you, our rainbow baby/now preschooler, who has helped to soften our grief and complete our family. We hoped and dreamed for so long to have another living child and you were so worth the wait!
Abby, it isn’t always easy helping you to learn and grow, but we adore and love you very much!