Dear Ella,

Sweet baby girl, I can’t believe your kindergarten year is over. Everyone told me it would go quickly and of course they were right. You survived a year of firsts: New friends, new school, new routine, and you did it all in stride. Your mom survived too, although I think you handled it better than I did.

Remember the first day when we walked hand in hand into that big new school building? I was so nervous for you and I think you were a little scared, although you did a good job hiding those jitters. I didn’t. My tears hit the moment I let go of your hand. I have a feeling that will happen a lot through the years. 

I’m sure I will cry at each new milestone you reach. You’ll just have to roll your eyes at me because I can’t help myself.

The tears flow because I’m so proud of the young lady you’ve become. You’re so smart and incredibly kind to your peers. You’re a little boy crazy, too—which might make your daddy cry someday. 

I’m a little sad. Not because you are growing up—that’s natural and wonderful and expected—but because the older you get, the closer goodbye becomes. Someday you’ll leave to make your own dreams and discover your own adventures. And I want that for you. But secretly, I’m already crushed at the reality that will be. You see baby girl, you (your sister, too) are the answer to my dreams. What a gift you’ve given me by just being you.

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I know this summer you’ll spend hours playing with your friends at the pool and in the yard and each hour of independence will make your mom seems less cool. And that’s OK. But I really hope we have at least a couple more school years like this one. 

I loved walking hand in hand with you to your class each day and the smile I received each afternoon at pick-up will forever be etched in my heart.

I know how lucky I have been to get to see you off and pick you up each and every school day. Not many mamas are given that gift, Ella. It’s one I cherish. 

I loved having school lunch with you. You were so proud to have your mama sit next to you and lovingly introduced me to your friends. I wonder how long you’ll let that be. Can we never let it end?

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I loved the school projects and the stars and smiley faces you received on each paper. You’ve learned so much in just a year! My hearts swells with pride when I hear you read your next chapter book or try so hard to write sentences without asking for help. Gosh you’re a smart 6-year-old! I’ve known it all along. 

Ella, my darling, you will always be wonderful, you will always be brave, you will always be beautiful, you will always be intelligent, you will always be strong, you will always be kind, you will always be perfect in my eyes.

I’m proud of you, now and forever and I’m so excited to watch you grow.

Love always and forever,


Leslie Means

Leslie is the founder and owner of Her View From She is also a former news anchor, published children’s book author, weekly columnist, and has several published short stories as well. She is married to a very patient man. Together they have three fantastic kids.  When she’s not sharing too much personal information online and in the newspaper – you’ll find Leslie somewhere in Nebraska hanging out with family and friends. There’s also a 75% chance at any given time, you’ll spot her in the aisles at Target.