Joseph A. Pinto

barflypoet & author of dark fiction

I can’t believe that my daughter is nearly a month into first grade.

It seems like only yesterday that together we took a walk to her future elementary school. She was only three years old then. She sported a Tinker Bell hat atop her head and wore a Cookie Monster backpack – practice for ‘when she got bigger.’ We watched the children during recess as they ran across the school grounds; I watched her watching them, admiring the glow her wide eyes cast. “You’ll be there one day,” I whispered. “You’ll be on the other side of that fence.” A smile swallowed her face whole and she laughed deliriously. I’ll never forget that day. Funny; certain little things come your way in life that you’d never expect to encounter but once they do, you know enough to seize them. You know enough to store them away. Somewhere safe, where they can last forever.

Athena is six now. If you have followed my blog for any length of time then you’ll know I write of her often. She never ceases to inspire me. To teach. She was born with a deletion of her chromosome seven – the punch list of its effects reads like a horror story. But with extensive therapies, she has nearly overcome it all. She does everything full steam ahead. The little things do not escape her.

But first grade has been a big adjustment for her. Children are expected to be more independent within the classroom. Their workload has increased considerably – I joke that the homework she comes home with is now my homework as well. Unfortunately, there have already been a few days where the struggle has been considerable and she’s broken out in tears.

And yet she smiles through it all and plows forward. She smiles and it swallows her face whole, and her eyes dance with a glow unlike anything I’ve ever seen. I can’t help but realize she’s on the other side of that fence now – in life, in all things.

Already, she has learned to capture every little thing.Β  Including me.

27 thoughts on “Little Things

  1. Karen Soutar says:

    That’s a beautiful post, Joe. I agree, the little things in life are every bit as important as the so-called big things. Best wishes to Athena on this school adventure. πŸ˜€ And best wishes to you as homework assistant! πŸ˜‰ xx

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Thank you very much, Karen πŸ™‚ Big things often take up too much space, while you can fill all nooks and crannies with your little things πŸ™‚ And thank you again, Athena is one tough little cookie πŸ™‚ I appreciate all your support!

  2. Chatty Owl says:

    They do grow fast, dont they?! Awwww, thats nice to have such a strong bond with your beautiful one. And beautiful she is! You are an awesome father and i bet every day is like a blessing for you with her!

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Hi Chatty One πŸ˜‰ Thank you so much – I soak in every moment with her

  3. Carrie Page says:

    This is so sweet. It made me think of my son’s preschool days and how his backpack looked so big on his tiny shoulders. He’s 12 now, taller than I am. Time goes by too quickly. Good luck with the homework, it certainly doesn’t get any easier. 7th grade math makes me feel really dumb. πŸ˜‰

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Hi Carrie! πŸ™‚ Thank you! Don’t feel bad – I’m nearly ready to commit myself over first grade math lol

  4. Magenta Nero says:

    a lovely post Joseph, it’s beautiful that your daughter is a constant inspiration in your life and work. They do get faced with such pressure so soon don’t they? Makes me very sad sometimes!

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Thank you very much, Magenta! πŸ™‚ The pressure with her workload in terms of what she is expected to learn, and the pace at which she is to learn it, is crazy. They are cramming it down these children’s throats, per state guidelines, without worrying whether they’ll ever digest it or not. Very stressful!
      I appreciate the kind words always πŸ™‚

      1. Magenta Nero says:

        I totally agree with you Joseph, it is very stressful and exhausting for little people and counter productive. Unfortunately the curriculum is considered more important than individual learning. We actually had to change my daughters school to one with a more relaxed learning atmosphere because she was having such a hard time.
        All the best to you and family Joseph πŸ™‚

      2. Joseph Pinto says:

        Much appreciated, Damned One πŸ™‚ xo

  5. As always, a very sweet and adoring post about Athena, Joe! πŸ™‚ Your pride as a father is unyeilding, and you are truly blessed to have her in your life!

  6. Joseph Pinto says:

    Thank you very much, Nina! I am far from the perfect father, but she is a perfect blessing πŸ™‚

  7. I can relate. My little one is a month and a half into kindergarten. How time flies! I enjoyed your post.

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Hi Lauren! Thank you for stopping by my blog; I’m glad you enjoyed my post πŸ™‚ Yes, hold on to every moment! Soon enough, you’ll be struggling alongside them to keep up with math lol Hope to see you again πŸ™‚

  8. Hey Joe,
    Great post! Thank you for inspiring me not only as an author but a father as well!

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Hey Jon! πŸ™‚ Thank you, but you hardly need the inspiration at all, my friend! Seems you’re doing brilliantly at both as well πŸ™‚

  9. TessaLee says:

    That was very beautiful! My children are the bright spot of sunshine in my day and they are growing up too fast. They get very frustrated with life already, but I think it helps them to know that Mommy’s not perfect either. You and your daughter are blessed to have a positive bond with each other!

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Hi Tessa! Thank you very much, I appreciate it πŸ™‚ Yes, it’s hard when children grow frustrated with life as an early age. But we need to always set the best example we possibly can.
      Oh, and welcome to my blog lol Joined yours as well πŸ™‚

      1. TessaLee says:

        Thank you for welcoming me and welcome to mine! I hope you enjoy reading it! πŸ™‚

  10. Marisa says:

    This is lovely stuff, Joe. And welcome aboard eve’s apple!

    ~Marisa (

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Hi Marisa! Thank you very much πŸ™‚ Welcome to mine as well. I see your a NJ shore gal; I’m only an hour away here in northern NJ πŸ™‚

  11. “And yet she smiles through it all and plows forward. She smiles and it swallows her face whole, and her eyes dance with a glow unlike anything I’ve ever seen…”
    This was the most beautiful picture. I can just picture that beautiful smile.
    Beautiful post Joe!
    – Kim πŸ™‚

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      πŸ™‚ Thank you so much, Kim! Trust me, my words do no justice to my daughter’s smile! πŸ™‚
      I truly appreciate all your support! xo

  12. Paul D. Dail says:


    I’ve had this post in my inbox for a couple weeks now waiting for me to get to it. I saw the teaser, and besides reading your fiction, competing for that which I enjoy most from you are stories about Athena, just a couple years ahead of my Aspen, who just started preschool this year. To hear about Athena being three and “practicing” for being a big kid reminded me of Aspen. And it’s awesome to hear how Athena is overcoming the odds… and a little daunting to think about kindergarten and the expectations for first grade when it comes to Aspen.

    And to hear about your seizing the moment as I write about that very thing in reflection of my recent bout with kidney cancer.

    Everything here was great. Thanks as always.

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Hey Paul

      I am so sorry…I had no idea of what you were going through. How is your health/prognosis now? Reach out to me whenever you want. Do you have my email address?

  13. miatyes says:

    It’s a lovely thing to know that a father can be so unconditionally true. πŸ˜‰

    1. Joseph Pinto says:

      Hello! Thank you, Ms Mia, that’s a lovely thing to say πŸ™‚

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: