Jessica Ashley facebook twitter babble voices pinterest is a single mama in the city, super-savvy editor, writer, video host and shameless shoe whore.
read more »
Mama Needs New Shoes
Subscribe to Sassafrass by RSS or Email
Follow by RSS feed


Follow by email to have Sassafrass' blog updates delivered to your inbox:

Mama Likey

This area does not yet contain any content.
Search Sassafrass

On the last day of kindergarten

He was standing at the front of the classroom with the other students, singing a song about summer vacation, throwing his hands in the air and reciting lyrics I'd never heard before. It was the last few minutes of kindergarten, and my boy and his classmates were singing about what is next. The words did not say what feels so close -- first grade.

But that's not the moment that got to me. It was brief and I caught it just before hitting record on the video. Lil E was sitting in the second row, a boy who sat at the same table for much of the year was seated next to him. Just as they did when the class was standing and singing their opening song, the boys were holding hands.

Lil E's friend said something to him quietly, Lil E looked over warmly and then threw his head back and laughed. It was such a buddy moment and I was so struck by that, by these kids making their way through kindergarten and this class all on their own. I felt a surge of pride. Love. Wonder.

That's when I teared up. And that's when I thought of this book.

It's a book I read and read  and read as a little girl. It's about a child who sees a picture of a baby and looks in every corner of the house for her. In the end, of course, she finds out that the baby has grown into a girl, that the baby is her. I loved this book. I loved the swirl in the girl's blond, wispy hair. I loved the sweet Eloise Wilkin illustration of her peeking in the laundry basket, tucked in the closet. I loved the photo of the baby with the same big blue eyes and pouty cheeks as the girl in the story. I just didn't get why my mom teared up when we read it, why it reminded her so much of me.

Today, I saw my own boy -- the one who explored every bit of this classroom, who discovered how exciting it is to read whole chapters and books, who loves to write and draw, who learned to tell time and count money, who slowly but surely ties his own shoes, who learned to stand up to other kids and even did some stand-up of his own in the talent show -- just like my mom saw me as I read that book.

Holding hands with his friend, singing his song, accepting his certificate of accomplishment, he looked big, he seemed so much older, he was clearly very Lil E. I was...I was just so in awe of seeing him so fully himself. That baby is lanky and taller and defiant about what clothes to wear and still looks exactly like that infant in the photos all over our house.


First grade...FIRST GRADE! I can't believe it is here. But that's where my baby is going, after one long summer that I am sure, like every other place we've searched, will seem very, very short.


Look back:
The first day of kindergarten

The day he turned six

When he suddenly seemed seventeen


« Whispers of songs | Main | Cherry Ames: single, sultry, do-gooder working lady »

Reader Comments (5)

There ya go making me get all teary.

June 15, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteramy sue nathan
Just beautiful Jessica (tears in my eyes too...)Ann
June 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnn
I loved that book too! I still have my copy, which is very well worn, the Golden Book cover hanging on by a thread.
June 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDemMom
Love this. Hang on tight mama, it just picks up speed from here.
July 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterClare
Ban on women driving should be considered world wide... :-) I would never allow my wife driving my car.. :-)
March 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMoncler Jacke

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>