By: Joey Uva
It’s been two weeks since Grace started Kindergarten! Grace has a couple of new friends, Hanna Jo and Olivia; I like those names. When I first asked Grace if she had any new friends, she mentioned various names but did not call them friends yet. The second time I asked, she said “Yes, I have a new friend named Hanna Jo; part of her name is just like yours Papa!” “And, I have a friend named Olivia!” I didn’t hear what she said at first so when I asked her to repeat it, she said “Olivia! You know like the book, Olivia the Pig!” Grace talks about her day full of drawings, practicing writing letters, movie time and other various activities. At the end of the first day of school, the teacher had all children draw themselves doing something they did on the first day. Grace drew a picture of herself playing in the sun with a basketball on recess. When I mentioned how good it was, she immediately said; “Papa, you should have seen Gage’s picture –he drew himself sliding down a mountain! You can’t do that at school or on the first day!” I asked Grace; “what did the teacher say?” The teacher told him to please draw something he did today. I kind of thought to myself, hmmm…maybe that is how Gage felt on his first day of school? Sliding down a mountain seems pretty big to me; maybe he drew something that represented how it made him feel. My prediction: Gage will be an artist one day.
Grace also learned her new favorite words. When I picked her up she said; “Papa, I learned my new favorite words. Guess what?” I said “what?” She said; “Chicken Butt!” and laughed and laughed –she found it to be the funniest thing. Apparently, Gage taught her this. Maybe Gage will be a comedian and my artist prediction is way off.
Yes, it’s been two weeks since Grace started school. We are at a new phase as father and daughter; some new experiences are about to show themselves. I am looking forward to seeing Grace learn, grow, and continue to become her own little person. This does however having me realizing that I will miss some of the moments we have shared over that past five years. I will miss the way she looks directly into my eyes, in that way that says, I see you Papa, I really see you! I’ll miss the way she reaches up, touches my face and gives me a big smile. I’ll miss those times when she lightly touches my eyelashes and says “we have the same Papa, the same!” I’ll miss those times when I would give her a bath –she liked to soap up the hair on my arms, she’d flatten it all down for sleep time, and bubble it up and make it all crazy for day time. I’ll miss how she likes me with a beard. If I’d let my facial hair grow out, she would want to touch it, she’d reach over and gently rub it, saying it’s prickly, soft or ticklish, depending on the length. And, when I would shave it, she would see me and say in a disappointing way; “Papa, your beard is gone!” I will miss our human roller coaster rides. Right after her bath, I’d dry her off and she would request what we called “human roller coaster”. I’d hug her very tight, and we’d lie on my bed and roll very fast back and fourth. That laugh is beautiful. There are many little things that I am going to miss. I wish I could bottle all those beautiful moments up and save them for a rainy day.
It’s been two weeks since Grace started school. There are moments from the past I am really going to miss but at the same time, there are more beautiful moments yet to be experienced.