Jessica Ashley facebook twitter babble voices pinterest is a single mama in the city, super-savvy editor, writer, video host and shameless shoe whore.
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Mama Likey

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This is his wedding dress

Once upon a million years ago, I stood upon a little stage in the middle of a bridal boutique. I was corseted, tulle-ed, crowned in netting and the most beautiful tiara I'd ever seen. In the reflection of the mirror, I could see my grandmother smiling and my mother weeping. And there I was, jaw dropped, eyes wide, blissful and stunned, surprised, an overwhelmed blur of white on white on white.

I could not believe. That day. Had finally happened. For me.

That moment came for Lil this week when, after ten weeks of after-school classes, we signed him up for full-fledged membership-in-the-association-and-a-uniform sessions of Tiny Tiger martial arts.

The stage was the little lobby of Tae Kwon Do studio. The dress was the gi, hanging over his hands, rolled up to his ankles. My mother and I were both laughing at weepy to see this boy in all his glory. And there he was, with a thrill I recognized pouring from him.



If it was not for his reverence for Master Raphael and Master Bryan, the bow to the flags and the "YES, SIR!" yelled just before Twin Low-Blocks and Front Kicks, I think Lil E might have squealed right then and there on the mat.


And later, he did. He also asked 487 times if he could show the gi to his friends, if he could wear the gi over to grandpa and grandma's house, if he could just hang out and play at the house in the gi, if it was OK to go commando in the gi, if he could watch the World Cup in the gi, if he could go to the park in the gi. He settled for unrolling and re-rolling his orange belt 73 times in a row and posing for this photo shoot. 


He directed. I just snapped the shots.

Then he bowed to me, took my hand and I led him out the door, down the steps and across the long aisle of sidewalk to our car. 


There goes my boy, I thought, a little teary and a lot proud of this kid on cusp of so much. It's happening, it's finally, finally at five, happening. For him.


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