Today marks a new day in your life. From this day forward, an education outside of our home will be part of your life. You will learn things that your father and I can’t teach you, things that you have to learn by living and experiencing and meeting new people.
Your teachers will lead the way for you but your father and I hope to provide you with knowledge and answers when you have questions. We take our role as your most important teachers very seriously. Whether you can believe it or not, we don’t know everything. Neither do your teachers. And neither will you. The beauty of this is that it leaves an opening for you to ask questions. I know I get frustrated sometimes that you ask me “why?” 854 times each day. But I love that you ask why. I love that you want to know what the world is like. I want you never to lose that. Always ask questions. Always know that not knowing the answer is okay. And always know that just because someone gives you an answer doesn’t mean it’s right.
We have tried to teach you from early on that there is nothing more powerful for you than a desire to learn but also a desire to think for yourself. If you don’t agree with an answer, that’s okay. Stand up and speak your mind about what you think is wrong. Do something if you see something that doesn’t make sense. Act on all of those “why”s and bring about change in the things you don’t like.
You will meet people at school and throughout your life that you don’t understand. You must try your hardest to understand. There is not much learning about others if you can’t feel empathy. Find out who people are and what drives them. You don’t have to agree with people to like them. You will find that respecting others views, beliefs and opinions that differ from your own is going to be a huge part of what your father and I try to teach you.
We will also teach you that you don’t have to like everyone and not everyone will like you. This is going to be hard for all of us. I want you to feel loved and appreciated by those that you meet. I know you will. But it’s okay that there will be people with whom you just don’t get along. Don’t feel guilty about this and don’t let what someone else thinks of you – good or bad – color who you choose to frame yourself into.
Be willing to be different. Be tolerant of those that are different from you. Embrace change and be open to learning what the world and the people in it offer to teach you. You will stumble. Your father and I will do what we can to be there to help you stand back up again. We will hug you when you’re down and we will celebrate with you when you reach your goals and dreams.
I know you are only 4, but there is no better time than now to open your eyes and see the world, ask questions, learn from those around you and set your sights on making yourself into what makes your life and heart full of happiness, laughter and love.
I love you,