Open Letter to My Daughter

on her first day of Kindergarten

Where did my control go?

For some moms this day comes in full emotion of leaving their 'baby' for the first time. For others, this day comes with emotion at a slightly easier understanding and preparedness as they have had to make the decision to leave their 'baby' in care and/or a learning environment at a younger age. Me? I have had the pleasure of having the best of both worlds since the day my angel was born. You see, prior to having children I had been a Director of an Early Learning school for many years- there was no doubt in my mind that my daughter would attend school with me where I could keep her safe under my wing. After all, I did the hiring. I knew the staff well- they were like family to me. As she grew, I made the decision to open my own school, The Learning Cottage. Again, in control of her surroundings and interactions. From the day my baby was born. I was in complete control of her care and her environment in hopes of ensuring I had given my 'baby' the best of the best- the most nurturing, kind, warm and creative environment possible for her little heart and mind.

Now, After a year of crying and laughing, contemplating my preparedness and mental state (if you're a parent, you know!), I have found what I feel is the proper first experience for my child as she leaves my village, my school- our community. The only problem? I no longer have control. I no longer hire the staff. I no longer over see their daily interactions. I no longer educate in her classroom or for her teachers. I am now forced to place my faith in a new village of peoples whom I have to trust to fill her 'bucket'- embrace her for who she is and encourage her heart and mind positively. Will they hold her when she's upset? Will they encourage her to work through frustrations? Will they impact her life in a positive manner?

What I do have control of is how I, myself, encourage her. How I do not worry her through my worries. How I excite her in the things she will learn and the new friends she will make. And how I ensure my own communications with the staff at her school and hers with the staff and I.

... and so, I write this open letter to my daughter on her first day of Kindergarten.

Dear Paige,

As you enter your first year in the world of Elementary Education there are many things I want you to know. It is my hope that your dad and I have given you the tools through love, affection and daily guidance to be the best you, you can be!

Continue to GIVE.

Your heart is full of caring for others- you continuously give to others your love through kind words, thoughtful gestures and gentle affections. As a toddler you would give me your love in the form of squeezing my cheeks as hard as you could with your tiny tot hands and kiss me from "shortest to longest". As soon as your sister was born you showed her nothing but kindness- ensuring that she had everything she needed like a little mom. When you were 3 1/2 you told us you wanted to empty your piggy bank and go shopping for your family on Christmas. We took your sweet heart to the dollar store and you picked just the right gift for 22 of your family members! We praised you for your generosity. You show this in the classroom as well and with your peers. Keep that giving spirit whether through your actions or your words. Give your kind spirit to your peers and your teachers.

Embrace Differences and Be Proud of Who You Are.

You have always seen everyone equal. When you were barely four you started to learn of other countries and their cultures. Dressing up as such has since been one of your favorite activities. You love and embrace their differences. We are proud of the way you continually show fairness with others. You listen to others ideas and share ideas with them as well. Continue to listen. You will learn from others. Their differences will help you grow and understand the world around you. Open your heart to others ideas and remember to be proud of yours too.

Be Creative.

You have always been an "outside of the box" kind of thinker. You quickly learned to write your name and confidently added swirls to the ends of each letter. You creatively added new letters to it, then confidently told me "MuldoonE" was your new last name. You draw people out of triangles and dance to any genre of music. Don't let others tell you the "right way" to create, rather, use your own creativity. The sky is the limit.

Be proud. Be Confidant. Be a Friend. Be Kind. Be Helpful. Put your mind and your heart in anything you'd like to accomplish. Be who you are.

Right now, you think mommy and daddy have all the answers, in a few years you will think I know nothing, but I won't worry too much as I realize, after just a few more years and a year or two of college, you will again come to us for answers. We will relish in this time of being ' all knowing' in hopes of making sure you love who you are and know that we love you too.



The Mommy

I am Aimee Muldoon. Mother to two precious children, Paige and Peyton. I am also Co-Owner of The Learning Cottage in Sarasota, FL. My goal as both a parent and owner of an Early learning school. Is to empower children through their daily interactions creating for my children and other's children a positive outlook on themselves and the world around them- Surrounding them with experiences that not only encompass academics, but life skills, character development and PLAY. My sister and Co- Owner, Ashley, will tell you that one my most favorite things to say is "Play is Powerful"- AND IT IS :)! Play, socialization and our guidance is the key to creating good people for our future.

At The Learning Cottage we are getting ready to welcome 11 new families for the 2014- 2015 school year into our Fusion Early Learning Program. This means that like me, on August 18th, they too will have tears in their eyes as they leave their children for the first time. So to our future parents, It is important for you to know that the love you provide for your children daily we too will provide. They will be nurtured, coddled and loved as if they were in their own homes as we know the importance of developing a positive connection with each and everyone of them. They will also be praised for their kindness, encouraged to be creative, embrace differences and love themselves as we will do the same for each of them.