Our kids started school today. Once again, Claire’s son and mine have math together which helps since neither of them are huge fans of the subject. Kyle said he has 17 books to read this year in English and then rattled off a list of works by Tennessee Williams. I reminded him that most plays are anywhere from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours long, it’s not as if it was a stack of Edith Wharton novels. He doesn’t know who she is, so my snarky comment fell flat. The Great Gatsby is on the list, his teacher said it’s the best American novel ever written. I told him many would agree with her, and some would not.
As I watched my kids drive away this morning (Kyle is driving them for the first time), I recalled a book I bought for Kelsey when she started preschool, Oh My Baby, Little One by Kathi Appelt, illustrated by Jane Dyer. With tender rhymes, the mother explains how her love stays with her child through each of her preschool activities:
But even when I’m far away,
this love I have will stay
and wrap itself around you
every minute of the day.
With each activity-singing, playing, napping-the rhymes describe where the mother’s love is secreted with her child.
I read this book to Kelsey over and over again during her first year of preschool. I inscribed it “Dear Kesley, This book is a special present to help you remember how much I love you when you are in preschool. Love, Mom.” After awhile we moved on to other books and it was stacked on her shelf. I saved this book from numerous ‘donations to the library’ sweeps. Now Oh My Baby, Little One sits on the bottom of my personal bookshelf. I’m saving it to send to Kelsey for her first day of college, so she’ll remember that even if she’s hundreds of miles away, that my love will go with her.