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Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



For Max, Jacob, Lexi and my friend Paige.

Thursday next week is a big day in our lives and yours. Your first day of Pre-Kindergarten. That wonderful time in your life when you leave the toddler stage of your life and start on a journey towards becoming a grown up.

Although it may seem like an exciting time for you, as it should be, it is also a very troublesome time for your parents. We remember the day you were born, how excited we were to welcome you into this world and how your presence helped make our family that much more special.

Your first step, first word, first bowl of spaghetti that graced our kitchen floors, walls and countertops have all been carefully recorded along with those things we love about you that make each of you unique and special. We've watched you and laughed and cried as you learned to crawl, learned to walk and then learned to run faster than dear old Mom and Dad could. For the last few years, you've been our babies. The ones we have fawned over and carried pictures of to show every coworker, stranger and vagrant on the street. And know you are beginning to grow up. To find that path in life that will lead you on from us. We know that it is a long road ahead but remember that to us you will always be our little one.

As you go off to Pre-K remember there are some valuable lessons to be learned that will suit you farther in life. Remember that you should be nice to people, don't hit, share and don't say mean things. Know that some words will hurt your feelings, but that most of the time they are said unintentionally, but there are times when they are said by someone who just wants to be mean. You'll learn that you have to raise your hand to speak and that things have to be done by the deadlines and can't be put aside because you want to play outside.

Learn that laughter is ok, that waiting in line is just something we grown ups do, and that a nap is great and there shouldn't be a day that goes by without stopping for milk and cookies. Learn that failing doesn't mean that you can't try again. Learn that just because someone doesn't dress like you, talk like you or look like you, it does not mean that to someone they aren't as special as you are to us.

You will find that you know more than we do, but try not to rub it in too much. You will learn that not everything in life is colored like a cartoon and that not every day ends with the good guys winning. You'll learn that hearts can be broken, that not everyone will want to be your friend, and that sometimes you aren't the sharpest pencil in the box. But you will also learn that hard work will take you far. That good friends will stay with you forever, and that no matter what as long as you try your very best we will always be proud of you.

Just a few things before we lead you into that big building full of new and exciting adventures. Please don't eat paste, don't be afraid of telling the teacher you need to go to the bathroom, and don't ever be afraid of trying things that are hard. And be prepared to tell us at the end of the day everything that happened, not only because we are checking up on you, but because we really care. It might be scary in a new place with new people, but don't worry because it will be fun once you are there.

And if you could please..turn back and wave at us before you go in the door, and don't worry about our tears. You'll be fine and so will we.

See you next week..Remember, we're all in this together.