To my dearest A,
As you begin your educational journey today with the very first day of school, I wanted to share my hopes for you.
May you love school as much as I did (at least most of the time).
May no one (teacher or fellow student) ever spoil that love for learning.
May you have my analytical mind and your dad's artistic one.
May you have at least one teacher in your life that inspires you to dream, though I hope there will be many more.
May you be blessed with good friends and may you make good choices.
May you know that graduating high school isn't just the end, but a beginning to your advanced education.
Know that I am the first college graduate in my family and your dad is the second generation to graduate from college.
May you know that an education, once you have it, can never be taken away from you.
Know you will stumble and may you learn from those mistakes.
Know how far our family has come. Your great-grandfather Fred said he went to the school of hard knocks and only attained an 8th grade education. Your great-grandma Ruth was pulled out of school to become a telephone operator on roller skates! There are countless other ancestors who attended a one-room schoolhouse or probably learned with a McGuffey Reader at home.
May you learn a foreign language, perhaps like one of your ancestors' native tongues: Norwegian, German, or Polish.
May you develop a love for history and perhaps for genealogy. I will have lots of information to give to you someday!
May you appreciate the freedoms we have living in this country and come to understand why our ancestors came here from their homelands.
May you always know how much your dad and I love you and how very proud we are of you.
And may you not have seen the tears in my eyes this morning as I left you at your classroom.