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A Poem For My Kindergartener

Happy first day of kinder, my how you’ve grown;

It feels like just yesterday, my belly was your home.


When you first started preschool, I couldn’t believe it was time,

Our new routine went from two half days to three, then, overnight, it climbed…


In a blink, it was time I went back to work from part-time to full…

Adventures with you the first 3 years sure filled my heart and my soul.


I knew you were scared when we toured your first school,

because you were my little hip-hugging koala (and oh boy, was I was trying to play it cool).


The entire first year you clung to my side at morning drop-offs with a heart-tugging plea…

“Please don’t go, Mama. I love you…can I have one more huggie?”


Leaving you each time, I’d feel my chest gasping for air.

I knew you would shine as soon as I left, but boy, in those moments, real life felt so unfair.


How could someone besides me keep you safe and secure?

But we both spread our wings, and just like that, ages 3-5 went by in a blur.


Preschool turned to T-K, and now T-K into kinder.

How on earth are you turning 5 and in grade school?! Father Time, I’d like to beg to differ…


This weekend it finally hit me, you’re a toddler no more.

My sweet baby boy, it’s time for you to truly soar.


May you always remember that kindness is key;

Respect, manners, please, and thank you are all free.


Listen to your teachers and keep old and new friends,

If someone is hurting, may you always have a hand or ear to lend.


Strong girls are the future, and so are kind little boys,

Remember to stay true to your values amongst all the noise.


Hold your head high whether you win or you lose,

In order to grow, sometimes your ego will have to become a little bruised.


And remember what we always say? There’s more to life than winning.

Although, trust me, I know, it won’t feel like that in the beginning.


This morning, as I got you ready, I shut my eyes for a second.

I wanted to freeze time; weren’t you just born, I reckon?!


Don’t get me wrong, I cannot wait to see the man you someday become,

But sometimes it’s hard to let you fly since our party of two has always been a solid unit of one.


As I send you off to kindergarten, it’s certainly a big day for me, as well.

Soon enough, your independence will grow, your strength will blossom, and AH! There’s that school bell…


You still timidly clung to my legs and gave me a big hug and a kiss.

Then a little boy from camp came up and said said, "Hi!", and off you both flew into big-kid abyss.


It’s so bittersweet watching you grow big and strong, inside and out.

But here’s to the days and years ahead where you keep teaching me what life is all about…


Love always wins, and so does honesty, chivalry, and hard work,

Through all my life memories and proud moments thus far, you’re truly the biggest perk.


I love you forever, my sweet little boy.

I hope you always fill others (and yourself) up with things that bring you joy.


I’ll be right by your side to help pick you up if you stumble,

Here’s to you, here’s to kinder, and here’s to it always staying humble.


Being your mama is something I treasure,

and I hope you never stop proudly saying, “I love you more, and I’ll love you forever.”


This year you will grow, and oh, so will I…

Now go spread your wings and fly so, so high.



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Written by Shelley Hopper, FIT4MOM's Digital Media Manager + Blog Editor for her son; originally shared on Instagram and her blog,, here

Shelley Hopper

Mama to a cub just trying to bloom with grace. Wanderlusting where the air is salty and life is sweet. FIT4MOM Digital Media Manager and Editor. Food stylist + blogger at @saltysweetseasons. Chips and salsa obsessed, golden retriever lover, and single mama to sweet babe, Tanner Kai, who's my whole wide world.

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