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Dear Ethan

Dear Ethan,

How do I even begin to express the emotions that have been pouring through my body, mind and soul this entire school year? Let me begin with a story:

When you were born, on July 19, 2000, we were so excited to welcome you into our growing family. Not long after (I’m not kidding here), I was asked on a number of occasions, “When will you start Ethan in kindergarten?” “Really?” I thought, while looking at my beautiful weeks-, and later, months-old baby. I never thought of your summer birthdate as providing such interesting dialogue. Your dad and I figured we would wait and see. See if you were ready to start a kindergarten program at the age of five and one month, or if you would benefit from waiting until you were six. Regardless, that was years away. Even as a toddler/preschooler, we were barraged with stories of what others had done with their children, and why we should follow the same path; start you “early,” wait an extra year—whatever was recommended was the absolute “…

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