A Note to My Boys Before Starting Kindergarten, Age 5

First annual photo in these shirts... will they fit when they graduate in 2027?
George, I'm so excited for you to start at Town School. Dad and I knew it was the best place for you and while you would've done just fine at any of the many great schools in the city, we felt like all your energy would be best converted into learning at Town. You are so smart, ask excellent questions and always ask for clarification when you still don't understand something. You really want to understand how everything works, like your latest questions about how wheels turn on a car... no, not how they physically turn but what in the car causes the wheels to be able to go. Some of your questions are already leading me to google, or defaulting to Dad who seems to know how everything works! I can't wait for you to learn more about letters and start to read. You have a good understanding of sounds already so I'm hoping it will come easily to you. You already love solving math questions Dad and I pose and expect you to do well in that area too. I know you'd prefer to have William in your class but I also know you're prepared to do this on your own. You weren't thrilled when you were in different groups at Tree Frog Treks and even though it wasn't your preference, I was proud that you moved forward and after telling me you didn't want to stay, you did, and didn't ask (or maybe didn't know it could be an option) to be moved to William's group. I expect you to grow so much by not always having William by your side. I know it will be a bit of a challenge, and trust me, I can identify. It's hard to put yourself out there when it comes to meeting new friends but I really hope not having an automatic buddy with you all the time will force you to do it. You'll be with these boys for the next nine years. I'm in the same boat with the parents and plan to try my best too so I'll be right there with you. I hope your time at Town, starting with Kindergarten, gives you strong relationships with both friends and teachers, an education that is challenging and fun, but most importantly, reinforces what Dad and I are trying to teach you -- being a kind and good person is most important, try your hardest and don't be afraid to fail, and especially since you have a twin brother, try not to be too competitive. You and William have different strengths and probably always will. Just because he's good (or better) at something shouldn't prevent you from trying to improve or to do your best. Things won't always be fair, but focus on being the best person YOU can be. You've always been my great helper and I hope you continue to think of others, help out your teacher when they need it and be a friend to anyone who needs one. I feel so lucky to have had so much time with you these last 5 years and though there are moments I'm ready for a break, it's still hard to let you go and start this great next phase. You're ready, I can't wait to see what your kindergarten year brings!

William, I'm so excited for you to start your first year at Town School. You are blessed with Dad's social skills and make friends easily so expect you to find your niche very quickly. Though I think many would assume that George depends more on you than the other way around, you definitely get a sense of security from having your brother there with you. I remember your holiday performance your first year of preschool at Christmastime. You were 3.5 years old and you clung tightly to George even though I'd consider you more of the natural performer. I think having George there with you sometimes makes you more dependent than you really are. There were times last year at school when you wanted space from George, which definitely hurt his feelings, but was also understandable. I'm really hoping that by being in separate classes this year, you'll both grow in ways that just couldn't happen if you were together. It makes me so happy to see you be able to join in with other kids so confidently, something that doesn't come easily to me. You'll be with this group of kids for 9 years so I really hope you build some wonderful friendships that will last beyond your years at Town. You would've done well at many different types of schools -- private, public, co-ed, single-sex, etc. You're so easy going, you can sit still and focus much longer than most boys I've seen and get along well with everyone. Your fine motor is excellent and your water color painting from theater camp last week had all the teachers raving to Jessica at pickup. You are so passionate about music and stories and I hope you're able to get over any minor stage fright to be a part of performances as I think you'd absolutely love your time on stage. You had so much personality during your theater camp performance. I love all the different activities Town offers and hope you'll explore many of them. You're so fast, George tells me you're 'good at sprinting'. I know you would love to be taller and I pray that being one of the smallest boys (at least for now) doesn't hurt your self-esteem but I hope you can avoid too many comparisons and instead focus on your strengths and remember that bigger doesn't mean better... you can often catch boys several years older. I expect you to do well in the classroom, you're a good listener, can sit at circle time and contribute to class discussions. I hope having some space from George will lead you to participate even more -- George tends to ask so many questions and always jumps to be the first to answer that sometimes I feel like you don't even get a chance to think about the answer before he says it. You may be a bit more like me in that... I like to think about things for a moment and it takes me a minute to process. Know that you will have different strengths and challenges than George, and that's okay. You'll also likely have different interests and I hope you try anything that appeals to you, whether or not George will be doing it with you. You are so imaginative, artistic and talented but you also get frustrated when things don't turn out how you've pictured in your head. I hope you can work through that and know that growth and learning comes from the failures and not the successes. Many things come easily to you, but not everything will. As I told George, being a kind and good person is at the top of God's list so always keep that in mind. Be a friend to someone who looks lonely, help anyone who needs it and speak up when things aren't right. It makes me sad to think this is the beginning of having you at away from me longer than you're at home during the day, but I know you'll do great. I am so lucky to have gotten as much time with you as I have and look forward to hearing all your stories after school each day. Kindergarten, here you come!

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