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The One Thing I Want to Tell My Kids Before They Start School

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GALIT BREEN
Galit Breen
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Dear Kids,

I can hardly believe it's the first day of school!

I'm sending you off knowing how excited, happy and maybe just a little bit nervous you are, and I want you to know, I think you're feeling all of the right things. (In fact, I feel the exact same way!)

Your teachers asked me what my hopes and dreams are for your school year. I have several. This should surprise no one. This year I want you to laugh and play and learn. Of course, learn. But mostly, I want you to find kindness.

Kindness to your friends who might've had a bad morning or woken up on the wrong side of the bed or maybe even had a bad dream last night. Your friends have these, too. Did you know that? You're not alone in any of the good things you feel, or the bad. And with a little bit of kindness, no one has to feel alone or afraid or less than, and you can be a part of that lift. Yes, you.

I also want you to be kind to your teachers. Having walked in shoes like theirs and organized classrooms like theirs and read books in front of children just like you, I know that they might have bad moments and mornings and days this year. This will never be because that they're mad at you or mean or even bad teachers. It'll just mean that they're human and need your kindness, just like everyone else. Be polite. Listen. Give answers. Ask more questions. Write neatly. Smile their way. And say thank you, often.

Be kind to each other. The gift of a siblings shouldn't be taken lightly. Take care of each other, defend each others' hearts, forgive bad days (weeks!), laugh together, keep each others' secrets, and do one kind thing for each other every single day. Make her bed. Take up her dishes. Make him a snack. Lend her a book. Pick his favorite show. Everyone deserves at least one person in their lives who always has their back. You're that for each other. You're so very lucky.

And the most important hope and dream of kindness that I have for each of you is this: Be kind to yourself. Forgive yourself for mistakes. Give yourself time to rest and relax and rejuvenate. Figure out what you love and do it. Often. Say nice words in your mind and your heart because you are golden. And when we face the world seeing our own light, absolutely everything brightens.

I love you, sweet kids. Have a beautiful first day, cookies and milk for everyone when you get home -- so hurry home! -- and remember, find kindness.

Moon and back,
Mommy

This letter first appeared on Soleil Moon Frye's Moonfrye.