Joseph A. Pinto

barflypoet & author of dark fiction

Greater than anything I could achieve as a writer, my daughter scored 7 out of 10 ‘red words’ correctly on her kindergarten test.

At, my, are, with, me, come, what, you, my, can.  Those words are just some of the ‘red words’ she has been learning; the building blocks of language.  The keys to reading.  Since entering kindergarten this year, the going has been tough.  She’s struggled; she’s despaired.  But day after day, she has gone to school with a bright smile and an unspoken grace.  Day after day, she has sat to do homework, to grind through the task at hand.  Yet no matter the difficulty, she has done so with a willingness and determination that few adults exhibit.

As her teacher quizzed the class on the list of ‘red words,’ my daughter listened to the word as it was spoken and then wrote it down, letter by letter; not once but twice.  This from a little girl who has gone through extensive occupational, speech and physical therapies.  This from a little girl who has gone through it all with that same bright smile and unparalleled grace.  This from a little girl who has made slow but steady progress every day.

She worked hard preparing for the test.  “Try your best, and don’t worry about getting the answers wrong,” I told her.  Which is difficult to explain to a child when the world around us demands that we constantly achieve.

The afternoon of her test, her teacher gave me a thumbs-up when I picked her up from school.  “She did great!” she told me, but I barely heard her – the smile lighting my daughter’s face said it all.  Once home, she hurriedly took the test from her backpack.  She glowed as she pointed to the glittering star sticker atop it.  “I did it!”

Yes you did, my little girl.

Anything in this world is attainable, no matter how big or small.  And you don’t need to get everything right; you just need to give it your best.

19 thoughts on “Greater Than Anything

  1. A beautiful post from an obviously adoring Dad! :}

  2. Congratulations to your little girl!

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Thank you very much, Violet! 🙂

  3. rosereads says:

    Congratulations to the both of you. =)

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Hi Lu, thank you 🙂 But don’t congratulate me…trust me, she’s the one who’s doing the teaching every day 🙂

  4. That’s great news and congrats!

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Hi Jon! Thanks very much, brother 🙂

  5. Joseph Pinto says:

    Thank you very much, Nina! 🙂 It’s hard not to be inspired by her 🙂

  6. Dave says:

    Very sweet … you sound like a great dad. Makes me yearn for the days when my kids were young and we had these same kinds of moments. Being a father was/is the best thing I ever did in life. Congratulations for your daughter doing so well on her test!

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Hey Dave, thank you for taking the time to read 🙂 Being a dad for my little girl has made me complete. Your kindness is much appreciated, my friend 🙂

  7. Joseph what a great post and congrats to your daughter proud daddy!

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Hey Sheri 🙂 Thank you very much! Yes, my little girl works her butt off! 🙂

  8. Rachna says:

    What a wonderful feeling … Just reading that made my heart smile 🙂 Joseph, thank you for sharing that here.

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Hi Rachna, thank you 🙂 It is something, however, I wish I had no need to write…

      1. Rachna says:

        Our children give us this beautiful need 🙂 Every accomplishment, however simple or commonplace it might seem is a stupendous achievement for the parent. The kids might just shrug their shoulders and wonder what the big fuss is all about. Your little girl’s patience, hard work and diligence brought in the results and of course you want to record and share it 🙂 And hey, a need that makes so many hearts smile is a beautiful one indeed.

  9. Paul D. Dail says:

    Read this post in my email yesterday and kept it in my Inbox so I would remember to come by and comment. Then saw your tweet (muchas gracias, by the way). So we must be on the same wavelength, because I really dug your post. For many reasons.

    First and foremost as the father of a beautiful daughter as well. And the incomparable feeling of being so.

    And watching my own daughter start to learn letters and put them together and form words. And love to sit and listen to books. This of course gets me as a writer.

    And as an educator, to see the other side, the parent side, which I’ve only seen so far from a step-parent to a relatively easy teenager with a 4.0 GPA point of view. I want to think it will be so easy with my Aspen, but I have my questions.

    And finally, as someone who has watched your and Athena’s journey together for a couple years now. And this was a nice victory.

    Here’s to more to come.

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Hey Paul! You’re more elusive than Hunter Shea’s Squatch, ya know that? lol

      I hope all has been well with you; and yes, thank you – every day with and for my daughter is a victory in my eyes. Not every child is meant to color in the lines, and in the grand scheme of things, every scribble-scrabble should be rightly celebrated as an achievement 🙂

  10. John says:

    Congrats! Seven out of ten is pretty darn good.

    And, you’re so right … do the best you can. It’s much better advice than “Get them all correct”. Life isn’t perfect, so why should we expect perfection from our children.

    The Best That You Can is The Best One Can Hope For as a parent …

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Hey Jon! Thanks, brother…yep, my little one is only in kindergarten as you know, and it’s already nerve-wracking for me lol I appreciate your comment 🙂

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