So, it’s happened at last. 3 years ago, I couldn’t imagine it ever happening, but, like time and tide, education waits for no pre-schooler. You’ve been at nursery a week now, though according to the staff, it’s like you’ve been there at least a year.
I can see you growing up already. Even a week later, I get a quick kiss goodbye, and that’s it – you’re running off to explore new things and discover more adventures. Sometimes that makes me feel a little sad, because the tiny baby who depended on me so utterly is gone. But then I think of all the new and exciting and amazing discoveries you have ahead of you, and my heart is thrilled. I can’t wait to see what you make of the world – and what the world makes of you! Oh sweet boy, it’s going to be amazing.
Sometimes it’ll be hard though, and I’ve no doubt that as you grow up, your thoughts and views and opinions and personality will change. It’s pretty much inevitable, much as I think it would be awesome if your favourite colour was still pink when you’re 18!
Sometimes though, grown-ups fall into a silly trap. We think we know it all, and it’s our job to teach smaller people things. Sometimes that’s right, and we can teach you things, but we forget that there’s a lot you can teach us, too. Darling, as you grow up, it’s ok to change. But please keep some things, ok?
Keep your sense of wonder at the world. The wonder that finds your very first conker and gets so excited that you pick it up so you can show all of your friends at nursery. As you grow up, you’ll probably find there are bits of the world that aren’t so nice. If you can keep your wonder and sense of beauty, the nasty bits won’t overwhelm you.
Keep your sense of kindness. The kindness that shares your bottle of water with the plants, because they need a drink too, mummy! The kindness that worries about other children when they’re upset, and makes you want to clown around to make them smile. The kindness that kisses mummy better when she’s got a headache, and prays for daddy when he has a bad cold. The kindness that makes you insist on buying treats when we go to the supermarket, so you can give them to the foodbank for other children. I love the way that you don’t think of yourself first – you’re kind to people, just for the joy of being kind. That’s precious. Don’t lose it.
Keep your silliness. You are a hilarious and cheeky little man, and it brings so much joy. Whether you’re flashing me a cheeky grin and calling me “smelly pants!” or trying out what the sofa cushions look like as a hat, it’s pretty much impossible to be around you for very long without giggling. As you grow up, you might have to find a different outlet for that sense of humour – I’m pretty sure a sofa cushion would make an unusual accessory to most school uniforms – but don’t lose that sense of the silly. It’ll help you when you’re tired, and stressed, and when you’re tempted to think you’re more important than other people. We all do it, and being able to laugh will make such a difference.
And Isaac, as you grow up – as you interact with kids bigger and older than you – please don’t ever fall into the trap of thinking you’re too small to make a difference. Here’s something really exciting – are you ready? You – just as you are, grimy, crazy and 3, are important. You make a difference. You change the world. And you bear the image of God in you – that means that there’s something of God in you. How amazing is that? And just by being you, you can bring something of God into this crazy old world of ours.
Little man, soon you won’t be quite so little. And that tiny baby isn’t going to come back. You’re growing and exploring the world and developing and it’s fantastic. But as you grow, remember that you are a teacher too. Show the grown-ups all your amazing traits, and I promise you it will make a difference. Above all, please don’t ever lose hold of the fact that you are so, so deeply loved.
All my love,