Endings & Beginnings
By Peter Stewart

I have already performed in the closing ceremony

Cameras were flashing like fireflies on this bittersweet day

I chased all of my friends during the final recess

And now the year is over...

It flew by!

I’ll miss my teacher…her smiles, her hugs, her jokes

And especially,

I will miss the way that she looked at me on this very last day.


My parents are calling me

But I linger just a bit longer...

and look back into my classroom

to postpone this inevitable good-bye.


I proudly recall my accomplishments over the year

I have grown tall

I’ve climbed very high

I beat Ryan in a race

I scraped my knee (and I didn’t even cry)

I learned to jump rope

I memorized “Miss Mary Mack”

And I built a tower of blocks to the sky

only to knock it down with one swift blow!


I wave to my friends as they head off with their parents

My parents call again...

Just a minute,” I say.


All of summer is ahead!

Sophie is going to camp

Adam is on a baseball team

Daniel is going to Florida to visit his grandparents

Jenny’s new brother is due any day


And me?

What am I going to do?

I’m going to play ball with my friends

until it gets so dark that we can’t see the ball anymore.


I’m going to have a squirt gun fight with Terri

that will upgrade into buckets,

then the sprinkler

and finally the garden hose!

I’m going to go to the beach and

eat my Popsicle slowly

The juice will melt all over my face

Then, my mother will let me go in the water

just one more time


I’m going to eat peanuts at baseball games

and ice cream at picnics

and watermelon carved up like big summer smiles!


My parents call once more...

My teacher turns to me

I know I’ll see her in September, but it won’t be the same

She will not be my teacher.

This will not be my classroom.


“Have a great summer, I’ll miss you,” she says.

I don’t know what to say, so I blurt out,

“Thanks. Thanks for everything!” and break into tears

One more hug

One more good-bye


Then, I turn and walk through the door

to the beginning of my sweet summer.

Peter Stewart is an author, lecturer, performer and composer. Currently, he is the director of Sing and Learn Music, leader of the Potato Chip Band, and founder of www.ilovemywrinkles.net. To learn more, please visit his website at www.peter-stewart.com. Katie Stewart is Peter’s 14-year-old daughter.