Kindergarten is a German word, and it’s beautiful. It might be the only beautiful German word, I don’t know for sure. What I do know is that the phrase “Do you speak German” even sounds filthy in German (Sprichst du Deutsch?).

“Kindergarten” literally means “children’s garden,” and you’re headed there tomorrow, two days after your 5th birthday, to hopefully grow and be nourished as if you were a cherished plant in an actual garden. You will play, paint, sing, dance, count and read seven hours a day for the next 10 months, and it could very well be the most formative and valuable 10 months of education you’ll ever experience.

Kindergarten is great, especially socially. You can still believe in Santa Claus, eat your boogers or even listen to the Black Eyed Peas without facing the condescending judgement of your peers just for being different. “Uncool” doesn’t exist yet. Silly is cool. Gross is cool. Princesses, goblins, talking vegetables, bugs, dinosaurs, rainbows- all totally cool. Seriously, only a hipster could hate the utopia of cool that is kindergarten.

You’ll be cool too, if only for a year. Above any other traits, you’re smart and sensitive. If those stay the two most appropriate adjectives for you as a person, your time is right now, and then not again for about a decade. Enjoy this time- I know that I did when was your age. Even my most negative experiences as a kinder at Frye Elementary school rank among some of the best and most positive memories of my primary school career. My parents forgot to pick me up once, so after a couple hours I decided to attempt to make it home on foot. I became terribly lost, and eventually someone called 911 to report a lone 5 year old wandering near a busy intersection. I was given a ride home in a firetruck. A FIRETRUCK! How many other kids could include that on their adventure résumé?

My hope for you is that you live it up this year. Eat paste like there’s no tomorrow. Put your entire heart and soul into each snowflake, hand turkey and paper bag puppet. Pick the cutest girl in duck-duck-goose, and let her catch you. When it’s your turn to be the line leader, lead like Moses himself. Cherish story time- let the fables and fairy tales spark your imagination so that you can come home and re-tell the tales to your brothers, adding your own dinosaur-themed twist ending to the stories of Mother Goose.

I wish I could slow time to help prolong how great of an experience I believe kindergarten will be for you. Most of all I wish I could slow time to keep you from growing up so fast. I’m proud of you buddy, have a great first schoolyear.



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