Dear Sophia (A Letter to My Five-Year-Old Graduate)

Dear Sophia,

Tomorrow you will graduate from your first school and Mommy is feeling very sentimental and a little weepy about the whole thing.  I wish I had superpowers to make time slow down.  But I am only human and I know that it is impossible to keep you from growing up.  So I’ll do my best to treasure the precious memories, celebrate the joy of this season and embrace the changes to come.

You have had three wonderful years at Montessori One and Daddy and I are so very proud of you.  I believe that these early education years have built into you a love of learning and discovering.  This is just the beginning of a long journey in education.  One that I hope will enable and inspire you to achieve all you ever dream of.  This school has reinforced the philosophies and values we encourage in our home.  Respect, kindness, curiosity, independence, responsibility and multicultural appreciation.  I hope you will always remember this school and the positive experiences that have helped shape you.

I remember my first school, also a Montessori school in San Jose, California.  I remember my teacher, Ms. Polly, and the songs we sang.  I remember the “work” we did and the playground we played on, with tires to hop through, a big tree for shade and the wild mustard seeds growing in the field nearby.  I remember the underlying tone of respect and the memories always feel good and right.

Your first year at Montessori One, you were three-years-old and your big brother was at the same school.  You walked into the gate on your first day like this.

You were ready but we still had days that found you clinging to my leg as we approached this gate.

Though Jack was in a different class, you loved having your brother around.  Jack would even help you on the monkey bars.  I would arrive 15 minutes early for pick-up and spy on you from the car just to watch you two play together after you had lunch.

You have had amazing teachers – Ms. Irina,  Ms. Meire, Ms. Isabel, Ms. Safia, Ms. Amy, Ms. Sharma and Ms. Silva too.  I hope you will always remember these women that have taught you, played with you, encouraged you and loved you.  These women came from all over the world.  Russia, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, and the list goes on.  They brought such rich wisdom and kindness into the classroom.  I will always be grateful that they were in your life.

As a four-year-old, you knew where Sri Lanka was on a world map.  Thanks to Ms. Safia.

Ms. Isabel taught you all about Switzerland and some songs in French.  You often imitated her playing her flute to the good morning song.  And she encouraged your love of art.

Ms. Irena taught you to put sounds together and read words.  She taught you about music and you learned many new songs with Ms. Irena on the piano or guitar.  She taught you to respect yourself and those around you.  She would accept nothing less and you rose to the occasion.

You’ve made good friends, like Alexandra, Sarah, Skye, Terme, Ariana and Disha.  I loved watching you run up to your friends to give them hugs when you arrived at school.  And you also did your fair share of chasing boys, like Owen and Chase.  You even got to go on field trips with your school friends like this one.

You have thrived in the classroom and enjoy your “work.”  You love creating art and come home with an abundance of artwork.  Metal insets were always a favorite.  Math seems to come natural to you and you often chose the hundred board work (Montessori speak).

Most importantly, I’ve watched you grow to become more confident, more independent and more comfortable in your own skin.  Being who you were created to be.  This makes my mother’s heart so happy.  You now carry yourself with confidence and grace.  Recently, one of your teachers told me that you were described by the other teachers as “elegant.”  I was a little surprised because it is not a common description of a five-year-old girl, but I understood what they meant.  The definition of elegant is beautiful and graceful.  I couldn’t agree more.  Well, most the time, at least.

Congratulations on your graduation, my darling daughter.  The world is lucky to have you here.

I love you, (As big as the ocean and all the way up to heaven!)



2 responses to “Dear Sophia (A Letter to My Five-Year-Old Graduate)

  1. These are BEAUTIFUL pix, Sheena, and she is a GORGEOUS child.

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