Decades Ago, a Dad Wrote His Daughter This Sweet Letter on the First Day of Kindergarten, and It Might Make You Weep Today

Warren Atkins of San Mateo, California, wrote this letter to his daughter, Nancy, before she started kindergarten in 1960.

Reminisce fathers letter first day of schoolCourtesy Warren Atkins

Dearest Nancy,

The time has finally come for your mother and me to share you with the rest of the world. On your first day, a portion of you will be lost to us; a part of your life in which we can only partially share. It is with mixed emotions that we see this day arrive: joy, sadness, pride, loneliness, but above all, our daily increasing love for you and prayers for your happiness and safety.

For over five years we have felt the initial wonderment at the blessing bestowed upon us; the pride of parenthood which grows with each of your accomplishments; the anguish when you suffered an injury no matter how minor; the laughter at your first halting steps and your first words; and the joy in each gift we gave you for which you grossly overpaid us in kisses, hugs and joyful gratitude. For all of these things we thank you with all our hearts and shall forever be in your debt.

Reminisce fathers letter first day of schoolCourtesy Warren Atkins

For you, the past five years were formative and time will cause their memory to dim. The coming years will be stronger in your memory. Conversely some of our dearest memories will be of these same five years, for during that time we shared you with no one.

As philosophers have said, “Time changes all,” therefore, this I want you to remember regardless of what time brings. Our love will follow you through all the days of your life, just as it has during the past five years. Everything we do with or for you will, in all sincerity, be what we believe is for your benefit. As your father, I look forward to the coming years in happy anticipation and interest with the hope that Mommy and I can provide everything to make your young life completely happy in every respect.

So long as I live, you will always have a love to have faith in, a shoulder to cry on, a buddy to play with, a listener with a sympathetic ear for your problems, a trusty friend to help you over the rocks and hurdles you are bound to encounter.

So go to school, my darling, with a light heart and a desire to learn, knowing you have a safe refuge at home in our hearts.

Your loving father,

Reminisce fathers letter first day of schoolCourtesy Warren Atkins

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Originally Published in Reminisce