2020 · parenting

on the first day of fifth grade

Oh, F.

As we look into this new school year – and it really is a NEW SCHOOL year – I know you’re nervous about all that the coming months will hold. Your grade four year was less than ideal and Covid-19 hasn’t made it any easier. Your anxiety last night was palpable and I can’t say I blame you.

When we moved over the summer, your biggest fear was switching schools again. After weeks and even months of bracing for it, we’re standing on the edge of this new adventure with our new community. I know it’ll be great because you’re the best guy I know.

Today, you’re packing your size 10 sneakers (SOB) for your indoor shoes. You officially have the biggest feet in the house. You’re almost as tall as me, as witty as they come, and your smile could melt a glacier. I can’t stop thinking about all the wonderful new friends you’ll have by the time you come home today.

Today, we’ve packed an extra face mask in case you misplace yours. You probably will because, well, you’re mine and we’re both pretty bad at keeping track of things when we’re excited.

When you asked me to help you decide what to wear today, I realised with a pang of sadness that my little boy is growing up.

As I type this, you’re reading National Geographic and volleying facts or questions into the kitchen to me. You’ve just remembered that it’s our neighbour’s first day of grade primary and reminded me that we should try to help make it special.

As big as you are, I’m not sure how that big heart fits in your chest.

On your first day of fifth grade, you’re starting a school year that won’t be without challenges but we’ll meet them together, with you.

On your first day of fifth grade, I wish you friendship and fun, a love of learning, adventure, and the making of memories that stay with you always.



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