Tuesday, September 3, 2013

New Beginnings

Summer is officially behind us.  Zach went back to school two weeks ago as a high school freshman.  He's running cross country and enjoying taking a Programming Java class.  What a fun exciting time for him.

First day of High School

Piper started preschool today.  Each new milestone has been so bittersweet with her and this one is no different.  She is such a kind, sweet little girl the future is hers to do and be whatever she wants, this is only the beginning.

Of course, she needed a new dress.  I took inspiration for her first day dress from this one I had pinned on Pinterest a while ago.  I wanted to work with her favorite colors which are pink and purple.  I used Kona Cottons in Berry and Blush.  The dress is an Oliver + S Ice Cream dress.  I've made this pattern several times before and it's still a favorite.  Instead of doing gathers across the top, I opted for an inverted pleat like in the inspiration dress.

We have been reading The Kissing Hand in preparation for the first day of school.  Chester the raccoon's mom kisses his hand so he knows that "Mommy loves you" even when he is at school.  I thought it would be nice to make sure Piper had the same special message so I sewed the words "Mommy (heart) you" into the hem of her dress.

(I would have been better if I could have figured out how to turn the pic around)

Piper looked lovely and like such a big girl on her big day.  I can't believe she is 3 already and it's time to start school.  She will only be going two days a week.  I wonder if that is the get the children used to the idea of school, or the parents.

There were no visible tears when we dropped her off.  She found her name and hung up her backpack. She was a little apprehensive but so brave.  

I will leave you with this letter by Dan Valentine, it is more than appropriate for today:

Dear World, 

I bequeath to you today one little girl in a crispy dress, with two blue eyes, and a happy laugh that ripples all day long, and a batch of light blonde hair that bounces in the sunlight when she runs. I trust you'll treat her well.

She's slipping out of the backyard of my heart this morning and skipping off down the street to her first day at school. And, never again will she be completely mine.

Prim and proud, she'll wave a young and independent hand this morning, and say goodbye and walk with little-lady steps to the nearby schoolhouse.  Gone will be the chattering little hoyden who lived only for play, and gone will be the delightful little gamin who roamed the yard like a proud princess with nary a care in her little world.

Now, she will learn to stand in lines, and wait by the alphabet for her name to be called. She will learn to tune her little-girl ears for the sound of school bells, and for deadlines. She will learn to giggle and gossip and to look at the ceiling in a disinterested way when the little boy across the aisle sticks out his tongue.  Now she will learn to be jealous and now she will learn how it is to feel hurt inside and now she will learn how not to cry.  

No longer will she have time to sit on the front porch steps on a summer day and watch while an ant scurries across a crack in the sidewalk. Or will she have time to pop out of bed with the dawn to kiss lilac blossoms in the morning dew.  Now she will worry about important things like grades and what dresses to wear and whose best friend is whose. Now she will worry about the little boy who pulls her hair at recess time and staying after school and which little girls like which little boys. And the magic of books and knowledge will soon take the place of the magic of her blocks and dolls. 

She'll find her new heroes.  For three full years I've been her sage and Santa Claus, her pal and playmate, her parent and friend.  Now, alas, she'll learn to share her worship and adoration with her teachers (which is only right). No longer will her parents be the smartest, and greatest in the world. 

Today, when the first school bell rings, she'll learn how it is to be a member of the group with all its privileges, and, of course, its disadvantages, too. She'll learn in time that proper young ladies don't laugh out loud or keep frogs in pickle jars in bedrooms or watch ants scurry across the cracks in a summer sidewalk.

Today, she'll begin to learn for the first time that all who smile at her are not her friends. That "the group" can be a demanding mistress and I'll stand on the porch and watch her start out on the long, long journey to becoming a woman.

So WORLD, I BEQUEATH TO YOU TODAY ONE LITTLE GIRL in a crispy dress, with two blue eyes, a happy laugh that ripples all day long, and a batch of light blonde hair that bounces in the sunlight when she runs.