A mother's sentiments on the first day of school

Dear Daughter,

Tomorrow is your first day at school.

Here I am, typing away at my keyboard at 1 am, trying to keep my emotions at bay- when I should really be ironing your tiny uniform in anticipation of the day.

It feels like just yesterday when I carried you in the warmth of my belly, safe and snug from all that is evil, protecting you from the rest of the world. But here you are now, nearly three years old, about to embark on a new and exciting adventure.

As you start your journey, I feel both excited and terrified, mirroring exactly what I felt three years ago when I found out I was carrying you. I feel the same urgent need to hug you tight to me, safe from all the big feelings and worries of the world.

But tonight.. tonight I'll be brave and learn to let go.

As I watch you sleeping in bliss, dreaming of the world waiting for you, and I find myself thinking about all the hopes and dreams that I have for you.

As you start getting a glimpse of the world, you will realize that the world is not all rainbows and butterflies, and that not all people are kind. Sometimes people are nice and sometimes they are mean. This has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them - Always stay nice. Be kind. You don’t know what each person is going through.

You will always see good in the world, if you look hard enough.

There are days that will be fun and exciting, and days that seem dark and daunting - It's okay. Go along with it. It's all part of growing up and discovering yourself, shaping you to be exactly who you're meant to be.

And when life will feel so tough, and you feel all alone; always, ALWAYS remember - there is always hope. There is a rainbow waiting for you at the end of your storm - Have faith and never give up.

When your heart is filled with joys so deep that your eyes shine - Stay humble, thank Allah. Don't let go of the things that bring you joy, appreciate it.

Seek not greater wealth but simpler pleasure - It's always the simple things that matter. The world will deceive you with all sorts of deceptions - don't compare.

There will come times when you will be at cross roads, and you don't know which way to go - Stay true to your heart, it will lead you home. Always keep your enormous heart open - after all, the bigger your heart, the more it will hold.

Don't be afraid of change, embrace the challenge. Swing from the vines, learn how to fly - You may stumble and fall, but we're right by your side. Be brave, be bright, so no plight can take your light.

Explore the world around you, let life be your canvas - Live a life of curiosity so that you may live your dreams, and discover all there is to see.

You will learn that the people around you have a tremendous ability to influence you - for the better or worse. Choose your friends wisely. You will meet some great people on your journey, who push you to be better, who don't hesitate to support you- Don't let go of these gems. Learn how to love and be loved by those you befriend.

And when thing don't seem to go your way, stop- take a breath and re-strategize. If there is no wind, row.

Most important of all, remember why you are here. All things were created by Allah swt, we were created to glorify God. How we behave, how we speak, everything we do should reflect this. Stay the course, and you should be fine.

There's a tug at my heart, a lump in my throat, as you gain your independence and face the world. I grieve the end of an era, of innocence and hugs and sloppy kisses, but I embrace the wonderful days ahead of all things unknown.

I am excited of all the amazing opportunities and knowledge that you'll gain along your way, shaping you to be the smart, funny, adventurous girl I know you to be, I am so proud of the wonderful person you are becoming, and I cannot wait to watch you learn and grow as you start to spread your wings.

And so, my dear first-born, here's to you, I wish you strength as you go on your way.

And will you succeed?

You bet!

For as long as you believe it, it will be!