Dear teacher:

I tried my best this morning to send my Kindergartener to school ready to learn. An hour and a half of tears that woke her brother and one twisted rib later we reached a compromise:
Two almond butter rolls and a plum were added to her lunch. She ate honey on a tortilla for breakfast (but she ate something despite being out of her usual go-tos. And last night she tried eggplant so fuck breakfast standards)
She put a shirt over the ballerina dress, but no pants and no coat. Yes the same dress she wore yesterday, and the day before that. I have no idea why she latched on to this thing like a lifeline but sometimes I just have to meet her where she is and today was one of those days.
At the bus stop she ran up and down our street the second I turned my back. At least she stayed in the grass. The other parents see willfulness-and it’s true she is my spirited child-but I couldn’t help but think back to a time in her life before her therapies when pacing was her way to cope with stress.
I called her back to me and gave her the same lecture I’ve been giving all week. She switched directions. Now technically she wasn’t going up and down the street but the motions were the same-back and forth across the ditch and up the hill to our neighbor’s driveway.
The other parents chuckled nervously as I sighed and let it go, but the boy down the street started in on her, lecturing her as if I wasn’t standing right there.
Even he thinks I’m doing it wrong.
But she got on the bus. She hugged me and smiled and climbed up those giant stairs instead of clinging to my leg. And that is a victory, every day.
I wish everyone could know how much it took to get her to this moment.
So know that-though my child showed up today twitchy, disheveled, and with an inadequate lunch-every day that she gets on that bus she is a champion. Know that she moved mountains this morning.