Dear Little Kindergartener

My Generation

A letter to my little man on his first day of kindergarten.

Published on: August 23, 2010

Dear Nathan,

Today is your first real day of kindergarten. You went on Friday, but it was only for a couple hours. Today, you climbed on the bus and rode away, with your backpack and your lunchbox. You were completely nonchalant about it. No big deal. Just a kid. Goin' to school.

You were cute beyond compare this morning, and I'm allowed to say that because I picked out your clothes. You had on your red Bob the Tomato t-shirt, which you complained about wearing because "it hurts my head a wittle." You don't really care for anything that slows you down or causes the least bit of discomfort when you put it on or take it off. I brought home a pair of slick "comfy pants" for you the other day from Goodwill, and I think they might be your most favorite clothes ever: elastic waist (easy on, easy off) and soft lining inside. Those are, currently, your most important features in clothing.

This morning was a bit rough, as we thought it might be. You're not exactly a morning person, but you're very cute about it. We'll see if I can still say this in a couple weeks. But you got up and got going and ate your Honey Nut Cheerios, and we were actually early for the bus. You played with Rice Krispie the kitty while we waited, and ran back and forth to see Buttercup the bottle calf.

And the bus. Because the road is closed, they re-routed a bus from Prairie City to pick you up. The dreaded Prairie City bus. Even Ken at the bus garage said he hated to put you guys on that bus. I'm not sure how a mother is supposed to respond to that. But Jenna has a plan. J You and she will sit together at the front, keep to yourselves and make good choices. And just because someone else does something wrong, that doesn't make it ok for you to do it. This is my sermon and I'm praying that it works, or at least lasts long enough for the road to get fixed and normal bus routes to resume.

Kindergarten is so fun, and you have the best teacher in Mrs. Sims. She gets you. That's important. (This is also something to look for in a future wife, but that's another letter for another day.) After school Friday, we went to Rosy's Pizza with Aunt Colleen, Kaity and Hannah, and Mrs. Sims. She listened to you sing "Hermie the Worm" and loved it. You were precious. She told me you were very serious about your first day of kindergarten. I told her to give you time; boys who dress up like roosters love a good audience.

I'm so excited for the year ahead. You will learn so much. You'll be reading in four months, for Pete's sake. Then you can finally figure out who Pete is, which is something you've been asking me lately. New friends. New adventures. Two points worry me: one, you'll have less time for riding your four-wheeler around the farm. Who will trail me while I mow the yard now? Riding your four-wheeler is one of your most favorite activities. Second, I dread the day when you discover that Mr. Jerry and the auger wagon will indeed be running without you this fall, while you're in school. You may get to take a couple personal days to farm this fall. I don't feel like your kindergarten career will suffer too terribly for it. When you're all grown up and reading this letter, I hope you'll remember how much fun you had riding with Mr. Jerry. And how many of his Sun Chips you've eaten.

The bus will bring you home to me soon. I can't wait to hear all about your day. You're my little man.


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  1. Anonymous says:

    What a wonderful letter. It prods me to do the same, even though my kids are past kindergarten and well into elementary, middle school, and high school. My church pastor urged us parents to write a letter to our kids this week. Yours is prompting me into action. Thank you.

  2. farmer617 says:

    I am 73 years old and our kids did not have kindergarten, but when they leave home the first time first grade or college or start a new job your life chages.

  3. D. Crummett says:

    Cherish all this Mom... much too soon it's just a memory! Dan

  4. H. Spangler says:

    Keith, you crack me up! I'll stash this letter in his keepsake box and figure he'll open it sometime after he moves out of here. You should totally give your sons theirs! Their reactions might offer you a little column fodder yourself...

  5. Keith says:

    If you are going to keep choking me up like this I am going to have to wait to read your blog after I read the financial news. (when I am all choked up anyway.) My sons are 28 and 30 and they have not yet read the letters I wrote. Maybe I should show them now instead of having them find them in the lock box while looking for insurance papers. Thanks again. Great stuff.