My Ella is Off

So many moms know what I’m feeling and why I have tears.

You know why I’m flipping through old photos and trying to make a 5-year-old fit in my arms again.


I am sending my first child off to Kindergarten on Monday.

Some of your are sending your youngest child off and some are off to high school.

We all are facing similar emotions.

I am writing this tonight for two reasons.

First, I have crying often today about the topic so better wrap up this dramatic sob fest with a blog post.

Secondly, next week will be crazy fun and busy with her starting school and a new series for the blog about Family Identity.

I have received some great advice.

1. Don’t dread!

A friend so gently encouraged me to stop dreading. To embrace her new phase with excitement. This is a big deal for her. Help her get excited about all of the things that are coming with her new world. Dreading doesn’t solve anything.

2. Set the tone!

I have learned this too often. I set the tone for our family. My mood dictates everyone’s mood. If I’m cranky – they’re all cranky. If I’m snappy – guess who is snappy. If I’m afraid of dogs – yep, I have two girls deathly afraid of dogs. Whoops. So, if I am teary, dreading, nervous, anxious about her first day – that is exactly what I can expect from my Ella. My mother-in-law gently snapped me out of a similar dramatic fit the night before we left for Orlando and I’m snapping myself out of this “my baby is off to Kindgergarten” tonight! (I should note she has been in MMO or preschool since she was tiny so this is actually no big deal but a big deal. With me?)

I loved this quote from Gavin Adams (Campus Pastor with North Point Ministries):

“It’s a balance between celebrating what has been

and looking forward to what will be.”

And all the teary mommas said, AMEN?



Oh my sweet girl. I am one emotional momma right now and you saw it at dinner tonight. I just kept staring at your face. How it looked different and how you have matured. I kept trying not to cry and then I begged you to jump in my lap and you did and then the tears were flowing. As I cried, you tried to comfort and distract ME as you always have done. You’re an encourager to your core. Since you were a baby, you have been my sweetest little buddy. You don’t ever like to see me down. I tried to explain to you that I’m only sad that the baby years are over and you just grew up too fast. Oh how I have loved being with you for every moment and milestone and party and playdate.


I am NOT sad about Kindergarten. You are going to soar! Did you know your teacher has 44 years of teaching experience? Wow! I’m thinking you are going to teach ME some new things when you get home each day.

You are so smart and so ready for this new world. You are the cutest thing in your new uniform.


You have been practicing your reading and writing and you are ready for homework. I know you are going to be a student that makes mommy and daddy proud and most of all Jesus. I know this because you have some amazing things in your heart and come out when you get in group situations. Other teachers have told us how kind you are and how you notice others and how you respect your teachers. We also notice how hard you work to do your very best and strive to make us proud.


We love how you are a great friend to your classmates and how you share. You love to learn and run home to tell us. You are such a helper in the classroom and I am sure your teacher will notice and use you often.


All of those things are exciting – but remember our motto? ALWAYS & FOREVER. No matter what… nothing can change our love for you.

Always and forever.

When you are having so much fun with your new friends, I will be here doing boring mommy stuff like errands and laundry and email. I promise to get the majority of that done so we can be together when I pick up your precious face. I want to remind you of something.

On your bookbag is our little secret key chain.


It has a HEART to remind you mommy and daddy love you.

And a CROSS to remind you that God is always with you.

If you ever feel afraid or nervous, just look at that keychain and

remember two verses you know very well.

 Deut 31:6 Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid for God is ALWAYS with you.


 IMG_0543 Go be ELLA, just as God made you, and everyone in that class will love you!

They always do.

You make us smile so big.

We are so happy it’s finally time. You’ve waited patiently for this big day.




Thanks Kelli for the keychain idea.

Anyone else feeling a little teary?

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