On Your First Day of Pre-School

PHOTO: For ABC News Travel & Lifestyle Editor, sending her daughter to pre-school is filled with emotions.

Editor's Note: Genevieve Shaw Brown is the Travel & Lifestyle Editor at ABC News. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children. You can read more of her work here.

Dear Addie,

It's almost here. After an almost year-long process that began with applications last September, your "interviews" disguised as observed play dates, Daddy and my interviews with the faculty, recommendation letters, acceptance letters, the final choice school, a "meet the parents" cocktail party, a meet-and-greet with the pre-K teachers in your soon-to-be classroom and several play dates with our host family and another little girl who will be in your class, your first day of pre-school is just a few short weeks away.

And I'm not ready.

I'm so not ready that I well up with tears every time I think about dropping you off on your first day at your new school.

You'll see as you grow up that I'm a pretty emotional person, especially when it comes to you and your brother. I hope you don't get this personality trait, or at least if you do, that you command better control of yourself than I. Because all the feelings I have about you growing up make me wonder if there are any feelings in the world left for anyone else to feel.

That's the reason why, though you're almost 3, you still sleep in a crib while most of your peers have moved into big kid beds.

It's why our whole family still refers to milk as "milkies."

It's why I kept the seat in your stroller facing me far after it should have been facing out to the world.

It's why whenever Daddy insists on packing away the clothes that no longer fit you I cry.

It's why I steer you away from princess shows (They fall in love! They get married!) and toward shows about little animal families instead.

It'a all because I can't stand to see you grow up.

Yes, of course I want you learn more than I can teach you. Of course I want you to be independent. Of course I want you to develop friendships and someday be truly interested in spending time with people other than us. Someday. Not now.

I know that this step toward independence is a big one. For many, many years to come, you'll be in school. From this first day until you are a young adult, you will be in school. And that means you won't be with me. It means you'll learn things from people other than the people in our family.

People think I'm nuts. It's a few hours a day and I'll be at work anyway. You'll thrive, they say. I know you will. But it doesn't change the fact that the time is flying and the clock is ticking and the time when you will still be my baby is fast coming to an end.

You are more than I ever dreamed of. You and your brother and your dad are the best things that have ever happened to me. There are no words to express how much joy you bring me and how proud I am to be your mother. I know you'll make me proud at pre-school. And when you grow up and read this, you'll remember how composed I was on that day I first dropped you off and you'll be proud of me too.

All my love, Mommy

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