Dear Merritt,

In the past week we have deep-cleaned all our rugs, customized our plantation blinds, reorganized the garage, cleaned out the refrigerator and wiped it down, and scrubbed doors (like that's even a thing). Why? Because by this time next month you'll be a seasoned kindergartener, and "power cleaning" is how we're dealing with our emotions regarding that.

By this time next month, your Spanish vocabulary (thanks, Spanish Immersion Kindergarten!) will probably be far greater than your current three-words of "rojo," "blanco," and "PIZZA!" You wander around yelling that last one and then--with an impish grin--say, "I'm speaking Spanish!"

By this time next month, you'll probably have fewer baby teeth in your head than you do right now. You've already lost one, and have three that are loose. And your anxiety about them verges on absolutely adorable. We watched you eat corn on the cob with the side of your face the other night. The only thing that makes this horror show worth it to you is that you ended up with a generous Tooth Fairy who brings you books.

By this time next month, will you still be obsessed with playing UNO? Or knowing what will happen if an ambulance runs out of gas and then a bridge catches fire?

Seriously. You are your momma made-over with the super dark "What If...?" questions. And the critical need to know all the answers.

But you also possess unrestrained high spirits and levity in spades.

Mommy stands up and slams her head into the light over the dining table? Without missing a beat, you sing, "Chandelierrrrrrr" in the style of Sia.

On a walk with Mommy and you pass a giant rhododendron? Stop, deeply inhale its blooms, and announce, "Aaaahhh. Music to my ears!"

You make a bunch of random sounds and end with "aaaarrrrrrgggghaaayyy"? You mull it over for a minute, then say, "That sounded like 'argh, gay.' That's cool. Pirates can be gay."

Speaking of. The weekend after the Supreme Court guaranteed the right of all to marry across our nation, we were shopping in Target. Because we know how to celebrate. You were barely in the cart when you asked, "Can I get a special treat since you can be gay in every state now?"

Child. We have no idea how we're going to survive you.

You got up from bed the other night in an attempt to put off bedtime. Spoiler alert: it worked. Because that's how it goes when you say things like, "Momma, I have a question. What is velvet?" Not only did that result in us answering, but it also earned you some extra snuggles, and a fashion show the following day with your friend, Nora, who proudly put on her best velvets for you.

You recently renamed "Go Fish." It became "Of Course Not." And we played for hours.
"Do you have any eights?"
"Of course not! Do you have any ones?"
"Of course yes!"

We love that you love to play games. And while we aren't ordinarily big trash-talkers, you won an honorable mention when at the end of an exquisite round of UNO you said, "You're strawberries, and I'm whipped cream, because you're on bottom."

But even your snark gets followed by an abundance of love.

You were being a turkey the other day and we called Mommy as a sort of "reset button." It was a pleasant call, though nothing monumental occurred in it. As we got off you said, "I was going to tell her I love her too much. That it barely fits in my heart. That it makes my heart explode off."

Do you have a suggestion for how we are to recover from statements like that, Merritt?

Before preschool ended in June, a straight-up delinquent punk kid from your class punched you. Twice. And you neither hit him back, nor did we burn down his house (though Mommy did request his address). Instead, we praised you for getting your teachers, and then we talked about what was going through your head when it happened. According to you, you got punched and then actually thought these words: "Okay. It's crying time."


There's about to be so much crying time in this house. Because while Mommy and I know that this an amazing new season in your life, we are also grieving the end of everything prior to it. Of "Elmos," and baby teeth, and you looking like NOT A GROWN-UP, and days and months and years spent doing whatever we want, however we want, whenever we want.

There was so much freedom in life before kindergarten.

Not too long ago, you announced, "Now, if you will please excuse me, I'm gonna go sulk in my room." And we apologize for laughing. Especially now. Since sulking in our room is all we want to do. Because when you're not looking, we're crying. We're crying for the tremendous person you've become and how we got to witness you learn enough for a lifetime over the past nearly six years. We're crying over how proud we are that we get to share you with the world while also feeling sorry for ourselves that you're not just ours anymore. We're crying at the idea of waving goodbye to our little boy as he runs up to the school, backpack flopping up against him all the while, and wondering what he'll be doing for the next seven hours. We're just crying, Caboose.

By this time next month, maybe we won't be.

By this time next month, maybe your Spanish knowledge will have already surpassed ours. And we'll sit around the table with you stumping us with words like "tiburón" and "martillo." And your backpack will be a fun treasure hunt to go through. And we'll talk about your new friends and the things you're loving learning, and the current rules of four square, and what we want to do on the weekend, and how sleeping-in is the best.

Maybe by this time next month, we'll understand that these sorts of transitions are a part of life, but the one thing that won't ever change is our love for one another. And how proud we are to be your mommas.

It's not possible to love you too much. It barely fits in our hearts. Our hearts exploded off years ago.

Momma and Mommy

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