advice for my daughter at her kindergarten graduation

graduation day for Kindergarten

Last week my youngest, sweet little nugget-of-a-daughter turned six, moving from one hand to two. Today she graduates Kindergarten, moving on to the great big world of blacktop, tetherball, homework, cliques, and various grade school shenanigans.

Most likely I’ll be shedding some tears today, in the way I do every time I head “Sunrise, Sunset” from Fiddler on the Roof (that song used to make me cry even before I had children).

I’ll be sad to say goodbye to her Kindergarten teacher who also taught my older daughter Lily last year. She loved my daughters as if they were her own and she instilled a deep love of learning into both of them–for that our entire family is grateful.

I’m also saying goodbye to the safety and innocence of the Kinder playground. For some reason that wasn’t a scary thought for my older daughter, but it is now. Maybe because she’s the youngest in the class and on the petite side. But what’s comforting to me is that she has the pizazz and chutzpah to deal with anything that comes her way so I really have no reason to be worried.

Mostly the tears will come from sentimentality. My baby is growing up and it’s exciting, scary, and thrilling all at once.

A few weeks ago I wrote a post with 15 quotes I want my daughters to live by. I will be spending the next 12 years engraining those quotes in their heads, but today I want to focus on one quote, one that’s not even on that list.

Its a quote I penned a few months when I was asked to write a letter to my older daughter for a 1st grade project. The quote is,

“Love life and it will love you back.”

20 years ago today, I graduated college and I left the magical, safe, sunny, day-drinking oasis of UC Santa Barbara and I entered the real world. At that time, the number one song that my girlfriends and I listened to was “These are Days” by the 10,000 maniacs. I remember listening to that song, with the Southern California sun shining on my face, thinking that I would never feel as happy and as lucky as I did in that moment. Part of that is true because I certainly have not had as magical and easy of a life as I had in college, when my bills were paid for me and all I had to do was go to class or at least buy AP notes so I could somehow pass the class.

But what I’ve noticed over the years, and when I listen to that song now, I realize that that song could be used for almost any time in my life.

Regardless of some of the bad cards I’ve been dealt or the hardships that I’ve faced, I have always loved life, enjoyed it and lived it to the fullest. I’ve always had faith that things are going to turn out for me, eventually.

I’ve loved life and all the people, places and things that make it up, and because of that, I have felt that love tenfold back to me.

So, my little Lexi the Lou, Kindergarten Graduate, you can read “All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” when you’re older, but for now, my one tip to you is: Love-life and it will love you back.

Advice for my kindergartner at graduation

photo by Chris Nelson Photography

Now, go get ‘em girl!


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