Monday, January 1, 2018


* A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2017*

Two letters to your future kindergarten teacher, the first from you (dictated) and the second from us:

"Dear Teacher,
I'm Matteo.  I'm five.  I'm interested in telephones, collections of golden coins, cool cars and how things work, like washing machines.  I love washing machines!  Someday, I'm going to invent a car that drives for you.  Lilah is my Sissy.  She's one, almost two.  I like to pull her around in her pink car.  My favorite letters and M and A.  They are the easiest to remember!  My favorite color is blue.  No, wait!  Red and orange.  I like brightly-colored things and shiny-colored things.  This summer, we went to Washington and Oregon.  We rode on a riding lawnmower and I saw my family and my cousins and my Mama's Mama.  At school, I want to learn more about how things work.  Thank you for inviting me to kindergarten.  I hope you will like me there.
"Dear Teacher,
We are Matteo's Mama and Papa and we are so excited to meet you!  We have been talking and thinking and dreaming with Matteo about kindergarten for the last several months.  We have read books and told stories and looked at pictures to help prepare him for this new adventure.  He is very excited (and a little nervous) to start at his new school and to meet you, his first grade-school teacher.  We will admit to probably being more nervous than he is.  Matteo is our first baby and the idea of sending him off to school, where he will spend seven hours a day doing things that we might only get to hear about in snippets, is a difficult one to adjust to for first timers, like us.

In your class, his curiosity and enthusiasm will probably be the first things you notice about him.  He will always push and question and create.  He will open every drawer.  He will forget to be quiet when he gets excited and he will occasionally laugh too loudly at silly things.  He will raise his hand excitedly every time you ask a question.  He will ask plenty of his own questions, too!  He is a great conversationalist and a thoughtful problem solver.  He will always volunteer to be your helper, should you need one.  At recess, he will run and climb and play with total abandon.  He will probably be the first and last one on the playground.  He will forget the rules one day, and recite them to the letter the next.  He will love his classroom and we know you will help him to feel safe and comfortable there.

In your year together, we hope you will help us teach him to be kind, both to others and to himself.  We hope he will learn to value his world and to begin to imagine all the big and small ways that he can make a difference in it.  We hope he will stand up for others; that he will stand up for his own ideas, too.  They are so unique.  He is a wonderful little boy, but he will also make mistakes.  He has a big heart.  He will love you with all of it and it is our hope that he will love his school, too.

Thank you in advance for the love and patience that you will show Matteo this year.  Your dedication and hard work as his first teacher will last a lifetime.  We know that you will take wonderful care of him and that, with your help, he will learn and grow and change in ways that we can only imagine.

Best Wishes,
Matteo's Mama and Papa"

You have really started to play imaginatively lately, feeding your toys and then putting them to bed.  Here, Brother Bear enjoys a little spaghetti with you.  You certainly had matching faces after lunch.

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