School is so exciting to you right now, little one. You are unsure about what is to come but the unknown allows you to imagine a world that is fun and good and full of recess and friendships. Here are a few things you need to know as you brave the days of elementary school, my precious boy.

Raise Your Hand
We know you are smart but don’t be the kid who shouts out answers and thinks they know every single thing. Trust me on this one. There will be someone like this and you do not want to be him. If you have something to say, always be brave enough to offer your thoughts or opinion, but do so with respect for whomever is talking.

Pronounce Your Name Right
We Burgers have odd names. Heck, even our last name is delicious. People always try to church it up because they refuse to believe our real last name could be a delectable dinner option. It is. Embrace it. Just make sure people know your real name. Don’t just let the teacher or substitute mispronounce it. Don’t feel bad. It’s your name! Own it.

Be Kind to Everyone
It is hard being a kid. Some people didn’t sleep well the night before or their mama might have had to work late. Maybe they woke up too late for breakfast. Or maybe they are fighting a much more difficult battle before they come to school each day. That isn’t for us to worry about but it is our responsibility to treat everyone we meet with kindness. If you see a new kid or someone sitting alone at lunch, go sit with him or greet her with a smile. You may never know the impact that could make.

Accept Not Everything is Fair
I know. This one is a shocker. I’ll let that sink in for a minute. Sometimes bad things happen and that is just that. Suzy might tattle on you and the teacher believes her over you. You might run in the hallway and get caught but Tommy gets off scott-free. Dwelling on the unfair will only exhaust you. Just breathe it out and move on.

If You Like A Girl…
For the most part, girls will still have cooties. That is great! I will continue to remind you that every girl on the planet is some level of crazy, even yours truly! As your mama, it is my duty to let you know that girls are also pretty rad. They are strong and brave and smart just like boys. So pick them for your kickball team at recess and sit by them in science. You will probably learn some things and make some pretty great friends.

Stand for the Pledge of Allegiance
Don’t even ask me questions about this. It isn’t negotiable.

Pray Over Your Lunch 
Son, you believe that Jesus dies for your sins and we are called to live like Him. Sometimes that means we do things that other people think are weird. That’s OK. He will use you when you are doing what you know is right. So pray over your lunch and don’t be ashamed of Whose you are.

Be Exactly Who You Are
You are brilliant and kind and hilarious. You are strong and brave. You are also afraid sometimes. Sometimes your behaviors get the best of you or you cannot think through or control your impulses. That is all part of who you are, but it does not define you. You are super rad and we couldn’t be more proud that God chose us to be your parents. Be you. You won’t ever regret that.

No Matter What, Remember We Are Here
Even though you will soon stop needing another hug before you walk into the school building and you will eventually want to be dropped off at the corner, we are here. Whether you have a great day or a horrible one, we are here. Whether you want to talk about it or you just want to eat cookies and ignore the mess the day brought, we are here. For the little things and the big things, we are in your corner. We are your biggest fans and will be your cheerleaders—whether you need us to be silent or bring the cow bells . . . you know we have them!

Oringially published on the author’s blog

Brynn Burger

Mental health advocate, extreme parent, lover of all things outdoors, and sometimes a shell of my former self. Parenting a child with multiple behavior disabilities has become both my prison and my passion. I write so I can breathe. I believe that God called me to share, with violent vulnerability and fluent sarcasm, our testimony to throw a lifeline to other mamas who feel desperate to know they aren't alone. I laugh with my mouth wide open, drink more cream than coffee, and know in my spirit that queso is from the Lord himself. Welcome!