Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Letter

It was March 2007, and I was in Iowa helping my dad go through my mom’s belongings. My mom passed away from cancer in February of that year. My mom kept EVERYTHING, so it was quite a task to go through it all. From birthday party napkins and cards, to pictures and every outfit I wore as a baby, it was a very long week and emotionally tasking. As we went through the boxes of pictures, I came across an envelope.

I showed it to my dad, he shrugged, and so I opened the envelope to find this letter, written on August 25, 1983, my first day of school. It was written to me. This was the first time I had ever seen it.

Dear Amy,
This is just a little note to write down some of my feelings on your 1st day of school. You are so excited. You can hardly sit still. You’ve packed and repacked your purse for 2 weeks getting ready for school. I’m so glad you’re excited for this new adventure in your life. I’m sad too. It’s hard for me to let go...
I hope and pray they are good to you at school. I’ll miss you at home. Things will sure change around here.
You’re happy and that’s what matters. You’re excited too. This is a big step in your life...
All my love,

Every school year since I found this letter, I open and read it on the first day of school. While my mom’s words still bring tears to my eyes, it is a heartfelt reminder of the excitement of the first days of school.  There is so much joy that fills our children’s hearts as they start their new school year, so much excitement and anticipation as the enter the school, ready to learn. I remember this feeling as a student, and I still have this feeling as I enter the hallways each school year.

My school has been in session for a couple weeks now, but each day is an exciting adventure. I want students entering the doors of our school eager and ready to learn every day of the school year, not just on Day 1, but on Day 180 as well. And so, each day we create an adventure. Each day is a journey worth waking up for. We have amazing teachers who do amazing work each day to keep our students excited and eager, and I am so proud to be a part of the forward movement in education.

My mom knew what a big step it was for me, as she not only experienced my excitement on my first day of school, but she also knew the possibilities and experiences that I received in my own education would be life-changing. She knew it was an adventure and one that would change my life. I am thankful for every day I have stepped into a school and the journey I have experienced.

In my role as principal and lead learner of my building, I use this letter as my reminder of the excitement school brings to our children and our duty to ensure it never stops. It is my reminder of the changes our families experience at the start of school and how we can ease them into the routines and joy of learning. It is my reminder to never stop being that “excited Amy” who packs and repacks her “purse” as I get ready for school each day. We have an awesome job. Let’s celebrate it!