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Dear Sydney,

I can’t believe that you are graduating from the 5th grade today. I know it sounds like a cliche but it 5th grade graduationreally does feel like you just started Kindergarten. You were so excited that day with your new backpack (Dora, of course), new outfit and a new school in a new city.

You hit the floor running with your enthusiasm and love for learning. Sometimes we got notes home that you were an excellent student but that you needed to quiet down and not talk so much. I ignored it because I could imagine you in class, hand flying in the air, just DYING to answer the question that no one else seemed to want to answer. I actually think that you terrified your Kindergarten teacher. Seriously, though – we’ve been fortunate to have the teachers in your life that we’ve had. With rare exception, they have all loved you and your eagerness to learn.

You don’t know this, but I’ve had more than one Mom come up to me and tell me how you were always the one to stick up for their kid when others in your class had turned their back or made fun of them. This makes me so proud of you but it doesn’t surprise me in the least. You have such a kind heart and want to make sure everyone is included.

I’m excited for you to start middle school next year. You had such a great time at the open house a couple of months ago as you went thru all the displays and evaluated which extra-curricular activities you would like to join. I only hope there’s enough time in the day for you to cover them all!

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Your class is just so unique and special and I have loved all the friends that you made over the past 6 years and hope that at least a few of them will be in your classes next year. But if they’re not, I know that you will make a whole new set of friends – that’s just who you are.

I loved sitting in the hall last night as we picked out your outfit for the graduation and for the dance tonight. For someone who doesn’t care if your clothes match or not, you took a lot of time picking just the right outfit and I think your choices were perfect! You are so comfortable in your own skin and while it will take you a few years to understand what that means, it’s one of the many traits you have that I love dearly.

So, Sydney – forgive me if I shed a tear or two today because just as I’m excited for you, I’m a little sad too. Every year that passes is another year closer to when my girls will be leaving me and heading out into the big world full of experiences to be had.

And I know you will be the one leading the pack and blazing that trail.

Enjoy your time today. I love you so much and am so very proud of the person that you are. Don’t ever change.

Love you to the moon and back –