For Chloe on Her First Day of Kindergarten

Dear Chloe:

Chloe to School.jpgToday you begin a great and wondrous journey. Today, you begin Kindergarten and with it, the formal education that will open you to a world of ideas and experiences that will shape the person you become.

Your Mom and I have sought over the course of these five years to prepare you well for this adventure. You know your colors, your letters, your numbers; you are empathetic and thoughtful, reflective and open. You make friends easily after you wisely assess them in their relations to you and others. You worry, but not too much. You have a passion for art, for new experiences, for writing, and for sharing your life stories with others. You try new foods with joyful anticipation and are not less willing to taste new things after you have experienced something bitter. You have a wonderful imagination and welcome others, especially your sister Hannah, into the worlds you create. You love easily but not indiscriminately; and you are fiercely loyal to those who have won your affection.

So, you are ready for this journey.

As you begin, know that your Mom and I, your sister and your family, are with you even when we are not physically present. We are there in the classroom when you feel uncertain; on the playground, when you need to stand up for yourself or your friends; in your heart and mind as you are enriched by the educational experiences that will sustain your life.

Yet although we are here to support you, now it is time for you to step into a new phase of the journey and to make a meaningful and fulfilling life for yourself.

I am so proud of you and love you more than I can say. I look forward to the adventure to come as I have delighted in your life thus far. You have taught me to see the world anew and the world is made better by your encounters with it.

Go now into this next phase with the joyful integrity that has marked your life from the beginning.

Love,
Dad

Join the discussion 5 Comments

  • Chris Millet says:

    Good luck, Chloe! And have fun!

  • MATTHEW N MEYER says:

    Chris,
    I can’t wait to compare experiences of that first day for Chloe and my oldest, Ben. I went to the bus stop for drop off and pickup and only when the bus came did I start to really feel the senses of that excitement we had as kids when it was going through this experiences (I think it might have been the diesel fumes that triggered it). I’m sure she enjoyed her first day and had plenty to share about it. As a parent, it sure is an oddly euphoric feeling that our children ‘accomplished’ such a feat. Great post.

  • Dad says:

    Chris, what a wonderful ode to Chloe on her first day of school. I remember a sermon I preached several times when you were younger than Chloe. It was called, “Christopher Loves to Dance to Hymns” and contains the same sentiment from me about you. Life is a wonderful adventure if only we’d let it be that. So often so many other things get in the way. Perhaps you will keep those things to a minimum as you experience Chloe, Hannah and the rest of your life with joy, excitement and, as Kramer said once, “unbounded enthusiasm!” I am so proud of what you have become and I love you every moment of everyday of my life.
    Dad

  • This means a lot to me Dad, so thanks for writing and publishing it.
    I have very fond memories of sitting in the front of various sanctuaries, listening to your sermons. I heard them with a sense of pride and wonder at how you captured and held the attention of the congregation. You had such wonderful stories that always spoke to the adventure and substance of life.
    I hope something of that wonder and sense of play and adventure has found its way into the spirit of all your grand-daughters. I know it has because I encounter it everyday with Chloe and Hannah.
    By the way, if I danced anything like Hannah and Chloe danced here, I am sure there was much joyful laughter.

  • Janet Filing says:

    I knew, somehow, there was this beautiful tribute to Chloe as she ventures to Kindergarten. I finally found this and I was touched beyond words by your fatherly tribute to her.
    As her grandmother, I especially feel and agree that her supportive and loving family are there for her in all her endeavors and have wished, prayed, and hoped for her life and have been blessed mightily by her presence to us for these five years. I cannot wait to hear her speak of her start to her “real” school life in her own words. It will be a total joy to behold, as is she. Nana

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