To My Sweet Kindergarten Graduate


Dear Samantha,

I’ll never forget the day Dad and I dropped you off for your first day of kindergarten. My tiny, sweet girl, old enough to be starting kindergarten. It didn’t seem possible, yet there I was, handing over my whole world to your teacher. You were so ready. I was not. 

It’s been a year of so many milestones. Of course, I’ll remember all the big kindergarten moments – school assemblies, your first school (glow!!) dance, first spelling test, the first time you bought school lunch, meeting your new friends, field trips, Fun Fridays… But what I’ll remember and cling to even more are the little moments. The moments that you didn’t realize were the BEST moments of the year for me. 

I’ll remember every day when I’d drop you off at school you’d turn back around, wave to me and smile as you walked into the building.

I’ll remember how you would light up when you’d see me walk into your class to volunteer.

I’ll remember how excited you were to show me the work you made in art. 

I’ll remember at pick up, the first thing you’d ask me is “if I had any exciting news for you” and then you’d give me a full rundown of who got in trouble that day and who was absent. 

I’ll remember when you started noticing (and talking about) the “cute” boys in your class! (Dad was not prepared for this!)

I’ll remember how you got much more particular about what you wore to school and how much you love to accessorize.

I’ll remember how you told me you “hated” playing basketball in gym because it “made your hands sweaty.”

I’ll remember the first time you discovered that if you went to the clinic, that meant they’d call me and I’d come get you. I nipped that in the bud real quick!

I’ll remember how you insisted on keeping all of the notes I’d packed in your lunch box.

I’ll remember how you wanted me nearby at school events – but not too close. 

I’ll remember how you’d come home with 10 fuzzy pens, journals and erasers from the school Book Fair.

I’ll remember how you’ve traded out our basement that’s stacked with Barbies, dress up clothes, stuffed animals and everything pink for your bedroom as your go-to hangout with friends.

I’ll remember how your teacher told me that you are such a good friend to everyone in the class.

I’ll remember all of it. Every big and little moment of it. 

Despite how much you’ve grown up this year and blossomed into the smartest, sweetest six-year-old, I’m still hanging onto all the little Samantha moments while I still can. I will hold your hand as long as you let me, my lap is always available for snuggling, I will never get tired of hearing you tell me stories or asking me questions … and as for my heart, that is all yours too. 

But before you’re off to become a big first grader, I’m so excited to spend the summer with you. The reality is, I have about 18 summers with you – and I want to make every one of them count. Let’s stay up late, eat ice cream for dinner, go on all the trips and adventures, and laugh until our bellies hurt. 

The world is a really, really big place. I know you are excited to grow up, but don’t rush. You have your whole life ahead of you and I’m going to be there cheering you on every step of the way. But for now, let me love you a little more before you’re not little anymore. 

I’m so proud of you Samantha, my sweet kindergarten graduate! 



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Amanda Decastro
Amanda DeCastro has called Columbus, Ohio home her entire life. She currently lives with her husband and four-year-old daughter Samantha in Grove City, where they love to share everything there is to do south of Columbus and beyond on their Instagram handle @BusyInGroveCity. In addition to sharing their favorite things to do around town, Amanda and Samantha stay busy making kids crafts - and they truly live by the motto “the messier the better!” When Amanda isn’t shuttling her daughter from activity to activity, she can be found working part-time at Spectrum News 1 OH where she heads up community relations. An elementary school principal’s wife, Amanda is also involved with the South-Western City Schools Educational Foundation board and serves on the advisory committee for the South-Western City Schools Career Academy Interactive Media Design program. A Capital University grad, she is also involved with her alma mater serving as a frequent guest speaker and mentor for current public relations and marketing students.