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an open letter to my little student

september, 2008

dear jack,

as i write this letter you are snug in your bed, trying to find sleep, although it is hard to locate through your excitement. you just called me into your room, and you told me that you are scared of your bookshelf. i know that you were making it up because you said it with a smile. in other words, you just wanted me to come into your room so you could postpone sleep a little longer. and, to be honest, i can't blame you.

i mean, tomorrow is an exciting day for you. tomorrow you begin a journey that will last for at least the next 15 years. (you just called me into your room- again - because you couldn't find your stuffed monkey. seriously dude, its time to sleep). tomorrow is your first ever day of school, a day to meet your teachers and your classmates, a day to wear your batman backpack. tomorrow, in many ways, begins a whole new part of your life.

that's not to say that you haven't been learning. you've been learning so so much in your young life already, there's no doubt about that. but now you will begin to learn things in a new way - in a classroom with a teacher. now you will use books and pencils and computers and pneumonic devices. tomorrow you walk through a door, a preschool door, as it were, that you won't walk out of for many many years. someday you will take chemistry. and geography. and algebra. maybe a philosophy class, or a course on the literature of the ancient greeks, and all of that starts tomorrow. for now you'll be learning things like letters and weather and dinosaurs and colors and other keystones of knowledge, and that's awesome, because it all builds on itself, and it won't be long before you're learning about obtuse angles and deus ex machina.

for now, though, as you walk through that door with your batman backpack, know this: i am so proud of you and so excited for you. what a journey! what a beginning! and i am so happy to be here with you, to watch you learn, to observe your journey of discovery. i am so blessed to be your daddy, and to learn right along with you. i can't wait to see the creations you bring home, hear the questions you ask, and walk the journey of learning with you.

and so, go to sleep, little man. you have a big day tomorrow. the beginning of the rest of your life. get some rest.

i love you,

ps. you can't understand this yet, and you may not get it for a long time, but take my word for it: i promise you that the more you learn, the less you will really know. and so, enjoy the moment because, in a strange twist of fate, you know more right now than you ever will again.


Mary said…
aww..the little peanut! Those teachers dont even know whats coming...they are about to have their hearts melted! oh man i would give anything to be his teacher :) i'll be praying for the little cutie :)
julie said…
sniff, sniff... already?

hey, i'll help him with obtuse angles and pythagorus anytime! :) auntie julie to the math rescue.

mary's right. hearts will be melting!
NJ Grandma said…
OK - the tears are running down my face - hope Jack enjoyed his very first day of school. It is an exciting time - he has so much to learn. Good luck to you Jack.
cathyq said…
I pray that he NEVER stops learning! GO School. He's such a blessed child to have you for his daddy. These letters will mean more to him than anything when he is older. Keep writing to him.

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