Joseph A. Pinto

author of horror & poetic prose


Athena.  The goddess.  The wise.

More than I could ever dream.

My daughter started her first full day of pre K yesterday.  Has nearly a year and a half gone by since she first entered the school system (  http://wp.me/pQvQq-6bOf  gods and goddesses’ )?  A peanut of a little girl – a smile that could move an elephant aside.  Yes, I suppose it has been that long.  Seems like yesterday.  So much has changed since then.  So much I’ve had to let go.

That’s the case when raising a child.  With each setting sun, they grow up just a wee bit more; with every fade of the sky to a purple dusk, they slip another hair’s whisper away from you.  The clothes they wear; a program they might watch.  The twinkle in their eye somehow a flash more knowing, yet that warmth, that innocence undisguised.  All signs of a maturity that wasn’t there the day before.  All signs there will be more to find the day after.

It’s difficult.  Not the growing up part.  That, of course, is natural, even if you do try in vain to slow it down.  But realizing you must surrender your child to the great big machine of life – it’s downright painful.  A dull, aching throb.  It’s not the hard choices but the easiest that feel that way.  Because the easiest choices, whether you admit it or not, are the correct ones to be made.

If you love something, set it free.  If it returns to you, you’ll know it was always yours.

Athena has overcome so much.  Developmental delays.  Her very DNA working against her.  Initial limitations of her speech.  Yet through it all, that smile of hers melts glaciers, pushes those elephants gently from her way.  Her heart grows and grows.  And she teaches me – even through her crocodile tears, and that mesmerizing bat of her soft imploring eyes.  Always teaching me with a subtle grace belying her tender years; God how she teaches me.

She started her first full day of pre K the way she starts every day, by attacking it.  Took the challenge, plowed right through it.  “I am so very proud of you, Athena,” I whispered into her ear as she sat at the table, coloring, crayons much duller than the light radiating from within her.  “You do your very best today and have fun.  I love you.”  Whispered through a constricted throat as my eyes suddenly blurred.

“Okay, Daddy,” her voice a feather, soothing.  Somewhere within her angelic timbre, another lesson for me to learn.

So much I’ve had to let go.

But when so much of yourself is poured and shared into another’s heart, when the sacrifice is that great for another’s soul, they never truly leave, do they?

They return.

Always yours.

Athena.  The goddess.  The wise.

My daughter.

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32 thoughts on “Always yours

  1. moondustwriter says:

    Precious Athena hold her against the storms of life while you still can

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      I’ll always be her boat in stormy waters, Leslie 🙂

  2. Excellent, heartfelt post my friend. She looks like an angel… Best to you and your family, and thanks for sharing. A lot of emotion there.

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Hi Donald, thank you for reading & your kind comment. Yes, I’m going to be in big trouble as Athena grows up lol Thank you again 🙂

  3. rosereads says:

    Beautiful Simply.. beautiful.

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Thank you very much, Lu 🙂

  4. J.C says:

    I got teary reading this. Beautiful post!

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Aww thank you very much 🙂
      I appreciate it very much!

  5. Joe,
    What a beautiful tribute to your little girl. Someday she’s gonna be old enough to realize how lucky she is to have such an adoring father!

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Thank you kindly, Nina. I’m far from the perfect dad, but I hope that when she gets older I can serve up as much inspiration for her as she has already done for me.

      1. Take it from someone elses’ daughter; you not-so-perfect dad types are a a lot more perfect than you may think in our eyes 🙂

  6. J Lawrence says:

    Such lovely sentiment. Best wishes to Athena on the next leg of her journey.

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Thanks, Jenny, I appreciate that! 🙂

  7. Adriana Noir says:

    What a beautiful post, Joe! She’ll treasure these words when she’s older. It’s hard to love something soooo much and constantly have to remind yourself they are really only ours to hold for a little while.

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Adri, thank you very much. Yes, in a way it’s bittersweet, but it’s what keeps me going every day, & I’d like to think my relationship with my daughter will be a strong & unique one 🙂

  8. Hunter Shea says:

    Beautiful and true. I just had to wach my oldest daughter go to her first day of high school. I was equally parts proud and sad.

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Wow! I don’t want to even think of that day Hunter lol But congrats to your daughter! Thank you for the comments 🙂

  9. moondustwriter says:

    hope you feel appreciated!!
    You are
    I have nominated you for One Lovely Blog Award

    Please come to my blog to receive the award
    please do not feel obligated to pass this award on – this is a thank you to you

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Wow Leslie, yes, thank you so very kindly…I don’t even know what to say. It’s the smallest of things & gestures that become the grandest of prizes in my heart 🙂

  10. Pingback: My Homepage
  11. “But realizing you must surrender your child to the great big machine of life – it’s downright painful.”

    The bright side is that any artist, from a comedian to a writer (especially a writer) has a new font of inspiration (not to mention material) when they have a child, and especially when they worry for that child’s sake. Where would Louis C.K. be without anecdotes about his daughter, or Stephen King without all of the tales inspired by his relationship with his son Joe? (i.e. “The Shining” or “Pete Semetery”)

    Good post, BTW.

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Thank you very much Joseph 🙂

  12. Paul D. Dail says:

    Another tender moment. And as a father of a little girl (just 2 and a half years old), makes me want to hold on to her even tighter. It already makes me sad to think that she will eventually grow away from me. I’ll take your cue and try to be strong when that day comes. Thankfully, I have a little time yet.

    Paul D. Dail

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Trust me, Paul, the time goes waaaay too quickly. I still struggle with it on a daily basis. It’s not an easy thing. That’s why you always need to be prudent in laying the foundation for a strong, magical relationship.

  13. Copious Corpses says:

    Joseph,
    I came looking for a lesson—a line, a paragraph, a post—that inspired and I could take from here and reverse-engineer, break down until I understood what had made me sit back and think, “Damn…that’s a great story,”
    What I got was exactly what I came for—though not the picture expectation had painted—indeed a lesson I could take away.
    My son is 18.
    I remember those day when our souls could touch, so connected we were and open he was.
    He is finding his identity as a young man now and breaking away to do so, as seems natural, and I know that regardless of the lessons and struggles he faces, he will find the man he seeks and I will be proud.
    I simply have to let him go.
    But, oh how I do miss the crayons.

    Thank you.

    ~CLS~

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Thank you very much for your kind words.
      Aren’t all lessons nothing more than a story you’ve had to let go…yet one that lingers on in your mind forever?

  14. Late to the party, Joseph, but I had to comment on your emotive post about your daughter. I scrolled your Tweety Bird pics and found myself mesmerized by her smile.

    Well written. And, Dang! She is a cutie.

    Thanks, btw, for the blog follow. I’ll catch you over on Pen of the Damned when you’re next up for a post.

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Hi Gloria, welcome to my end of the world! 🙂 Thank you very much; my daughter means all to me & is my sunshine to my darkness. Every now & again, I don’t mind expressing the mush ball that I am 😉

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