My I-just-can’t-sleeper.
My impossible to resist ringleted princess.
My grace.

You have a love of language and learning that cannot be suppressed. Just this morning you woke, earlier than usual, and the first thing you did was run to your bookshelf, fingering the spines and asking me to read the words, pronounce the letters. The morning sun shone through casting a B’s shadow on the wall above you.

Even covered in dirt, bugs swarming at your face and sweat dripping from your brow, you find the royal magic in every moment, your imagination ablaze.

You are impish and sly. You challenge and test, infuriate and delight, fulfill and inspire. The magic waiting around each corner.

You are my first baby, always my first. Many have said it before me, and many will say it after, you taught me how to be a mom. We learned together, we played together and we grew into each other.

And that, sweet Briar, is why I am struggling tonight. Tomorrow, 12 days shy of your 4th birthday, you start school. I know that you are ready, in some ways I am too. Your questing, whether it is for friends and play dates, or for reading and understanding, has stretched just beyond my reach. I cannot keep up.

You are ready for classmates and teachers, projects and recess. You are ready to explore the hours of the day without me calling out the time. Tomorrow I am going to walk you up to that brick building and let you go. I’ll tell you to have fun and I’ll promise to come back for you. It will be the hardest thing I’ve done so far. And the easiest? Well the easiest is this, no matter what happens, no matter how high the number following the word “grade,” I will be there to catch you.