Needle on the Record

I sat down at my computer last night and went to upload a billion and a half photos from my iPhone and SLR. Unexpectedly, the following video showed up in my Flickr stream via my iPhone:

(please excuse the vertical frame. sigh.)

I probably watched it 8 times, the entire full minute of it, wishing I would have just let the camera roll a little longer. This was taken during one of Jack’s first preschool classes almost exactly two years ago. Just a teeny clip of them just being while I captured it unbeknownst to them. My oh my, what a couple years will do to a toddler, moments that just fly by so fast you wonder if you skipped them entirely.


Jack started Kindergarten last week. Though there was some certain apprehension about what was to come, he was brave and confident, everything I wished and hoped for him.


Me, well, I didn’t do as well. There were tears shed, and they weren’t his. He has worked so hard for this confidence and ease of just being in his own skin, unafraid of the words that he speaks not sounding the way he intends them to, because he knows he is smart. He is smart and kind and probably the most shocking to me: He is a leader. He raises his hand, voices his ideas, embodies this big beautiful spirit that I was so fearful of being cloaked in self-conciousness relating to his speech delay.

We won over this thing. Though there will be at least a year more of sessions with therapists, we’ve overcome hardest part: His confidence. I’ve never seen something so glorious as watching my child believe in himself.

He has earned this, and I am truly beyond proud. The two of us have made it this far together, five years of learning how to be a mother and he has been there all along with me as patient as ever. We’ve tackled this great journey with it’s various challenges of moving, a speech delay, nut allergy complications, and now most recently and difficult, asthma.

Jack’s first day of Kindergarten brought with it a slow and sneaky asthma attack. Perhaps it was residual cold symptoms or the stress of this new adventure, the triggers are unknown at this point, but we spent a large portion of that night at the doctor. We’re still learning how to manage this facet of his life, but one thing is for sure: He is the toughest kid, and he will be just fine.


This morning on our third walk to school together, past the East River and through the busy streets of Manhattan on this new routine that brings just the two of us together, I started to get really excited. We have had very little time to spend just the two of us up until now, and these are the times that he chooses to really talk with me. I got so excited in fact that before I knew what was happening, I was skidding across the sidewalk on my hand and knees. My other had was still firmly interlocked with Jack’s hand as he stood over me wondering what I had just done. As a parent, I planned on having struggles but I never thought I would count on my children to teach me to overcome them. I need just as much hand holding, as it turns out.


I know that this is certainly the beginning of a new road of childhood, the commencement of his formal education. I like to think of it as a brand new record fresh out of it’s crisp sleeve, ready to play the songs that though we haven’t heard before, we know and trust the band will play a gorgeous soundtrack.

It’s time to put the needle on the record and watch it spin, steadily and smoothly though the crackles and pops, and even an occasional scratch.

I’ll try not to skip a beat, baby.

Join the Conversation


  • Hugs Jessica! And cheers–many cheers in every sense to the great job you are doing! This *is* hard! xo

  • Sorry about your fall, I hope you are ok…

    In terms of the asthma, if you have not seen the pulmonologist, I highly recommend it. We tried to manage our son’s asthma (exacerbated with colds etc…) with our excellent pediatrician, but since switching to the pulmonologist, our asthma exacerbations have been much more tolerable. Last year with every cold, we were on the verge of the emergency room at night, and we were making daily visits to the pediatrician. Now, when my son has a cold, the nights aren’t great, but we can deal with them, and my son’s teacher hasn’t had to hold him in at recess since the new regimen. The key for us has been daily Advair, though doing allergy shots may be helping as well….

  • Beautiful analogy Jessica. And beautiful post. Thinking of you guys.

  • I love this- it made ME well up a little! Go Jack, go! You’re doing an awesome job, mama!

  • My daughter heads to preschool tomorrow so I can totally sympathize with you. Sounds like you are doing a great job! And I only can imagine how hard it is. He has spent every day with you since birth. But new adventures await Him and I’m sure he will have nothing but smiles. I look forward to hearing more about his experience.

  • love this, here’s to all the great things to come.

  • Love knowing that there are other moms like myself going through these emotional milestones. Good luck on this wonderful journey

  • Such a beautiful post! Makes me just want to go hug my mom right now. She always tells me that I will never know how much she loves me until I have my own baby. I see what she means in your words.

  • Beautiful! What a lucky little man to have you as his mom. You navigate this whole thing with such grace that even the falls are merely a blip on the radar screen. Good luck with this new chapter. Watching that first baby go is tough stuff. Hold on to those little ones a bit tighter!

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