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A Letter to My Daughter's First Grade Teacher

With only one year -- kindergarten -- under our belts and no older sibling to pave the way, I'm still fairly new to all of this. When you find yourself throwing your hands up in the air and wondering, "is she even trying?" please know the answer is yes.
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Dear First Grade Teacher,

Hi! We didn't really get to talk at the Meet and Greet on Friday, but I just wanted to let you know how excited my daughter is to be in your class this year. I'm sure there will be a few growing pains along the way, but with any luck you'll quickly notice her love for learning and become fast friends.

But enough about her... Because the reality is, you're about to spend all year with her. I'm torn between laughing as I wish you luck and crying big "my kid is in 1st grade now" mommy tears. But seriously, there are things you need to know about me, so I'm not going to waste time doing either of those things.

You see, I am that mom. THAT mom. I'm the one that tries real hard but often falls short. I'm the one that will often test your patience. I feel that it's only right to give you fair warning, so you can label me early.

On any given day, you'll find me sorting through and signing my daughter's notebook as I sit for what feels like miles in the school car line. And in the process, I'll probably lose a permission slip here or there... sometimes more than once. I'm the mom that might not understand that the class "Author's Celebration" is actually the end of the year graduation ceremony unless you spell it out for me...and, no, sending home the paper about it in her folder more than once won't help. I lose stuff, remember? I'm the mom that once waited 20 minutes in the car line only to find out that her daughter didn't have her shoes on, so I just kept on driving without ever opening the car door when we got to the front of the line.

Yes, that was me.

Months later I still don't know how (1) my 6-year-old managed to leave the house without her shoes on, (2) I didn't notice, (3) her sister didn't rat her out and (4) we all managed to sit in the car together for no less than 20 minutes and still not notice. But such is my life.

I'm also going to extend a standing apology now because there is a 100 percent certainty that my daughter will forget her backpack, lunch, socks, project, or all of the above at least 5 -- who are we kidding -- 50 times. I promise I remind her daily. I promise that I often double check that she did it, but somehow those suckers seem to bail about halfway to school and run home. I got a feeling the ladies in the office and I will be on each other's Christmas card list this year.

Make no mistake, I'll be your biggest supporter, ally, and enforcer. As the daughter of a teacher who often sat up until the wee hours of the morning only to wake up the next day at 5:00 a.m., I know how hard you work, and I don't want to make your job any harder. I don't want to be Room Mom, but I'll be there to help with the Halloween/Valentines/[Insert Random Holiday That the School District Actually Allows You to Celebrate in School Here] party if you email me. I won't hesitate to donate to the class cause, faculty gifts, or to the Room Mom gifts at the end of the year (overachievers should get something for their efforts, right?). And as much as we'll no doubt appreciate you, please know that all of your Teacher Appreciation Week gifts will probably be purchased at the last possible minute from a drug or convenience store right as they close. I'm totally open to working out a gift card deal now, if you'll save me all of those expensive late night stops at my local Walgreens and just take a lump sum. Think about it. Call me.

With only one year -- kindergarten -- under our belts and no older sibling to pave the way, I'm still fairly new to all of this. When you find yourself throwing your hands up in the air and wondering, "is she even trying?" please know the answer is yes. Just know that my version of "trying" tends not to look like other moms' versions.

Sincerely,

A Brand New, Slightly Nervous Mom of a 1st Grader

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