I can't believe it. You only have a few days left of being one of the big kids at school. In 12 weeks you will start walking the halls of the Intermediate school. In some ways that first day of school, when you took your first bus ride seems like so long ago, but it almost feels like just yesterday we were on the front porch taking those first day of school pics as you headed off to 1st grade. You have grown in so many ways! Your feet are as big as mine! You are getting closer to being as tall too! You are more mature and you don't call me “mommy” much anymore. You have learned about wars, life cycles and have mastered fractions. You have learned that winning isn't everything, even if you really desire to win. You have learned that sometimes friends might hurt your feelings and saying sorry and forgiving isn't always easy, but it's better than losing a friendship. You have learned to get along with people you don't have much in common with and maybe realized you have more in common than you think. You will learn most of those lessons again, on a deeper level in the next few years. Middle school can be tough. I know you are concerned about bullies. That prospect is scary. I hope you can support your friends and not let anyone feel lonely or picked on. Seek out the kid sitting by himself and ask him to join in. I'm confident that you will be a good friend. I'll be here when you come home and I'll listen to your concerns and guide you to figuring out solutions, without judgment. I know you will learn of things that I don't think you are ready to learn about. I hope that you will come to me and ask any questions you might have. I will always answer honestly. I want you to be able to come to me without fear of condemnation or shame. I know you will make mistakes. I will still be here for you, no matter what. There is nothing you can do to make me stop loving you. We will use those times as opportunities to learn and grow. You will be put in situations that test your values, morals, and opinions. I hope you have the confidence to do the right thing and think before you act. It's not always easy when you are around peers. I know you will have successes and failures. You will get to try new things and have opportunities to be more independent. I know you can do it, and I will always be here for those successes and failures. Please remember that even though you will soon have to look down to see my face, you can always look up to me for love and support.