A new chapter begins for my little girl

Jason Smith


I knew this time was coming.

There was no getting around it. Now, it’s finally here.

My little girl is in preschool.

I’ve been trying, the last couple weeks, to wrap my mind around this whole concept. I can’t wait to see what she learns from her teacher and the other kids in her class, or the stories she comes home with at the end of the day. Nevertheless, it still doesn’t seem real.

I can’t help thinking back over the last 4 1/2 years, to all the special little moments that got us to this point in our lives. I can remember, like it was yesterday, when she entered the world. At less than four pounds, she was the tiniest little person I’d ever held in my arms.

One of my favorite memories from those first few days was when I sang a country song called “Love of My Life” to her, as she wrapped her little hand around my index finger. It was a feeling unlike anything I’d ever experienced before.

To this day, I still refer to that song as my song for her.

As my wife and I watched her grow over the following weeks and months, we marveled at God’s grace in allowing us to be her parents. There was a time in our lives when we thought we might never have that opportunity, so our child was truly a blessing from day one.

So much has happened in our lives since then. Of course, we’ve enjoyed milestones like our daughter’s first steps, her first words, and the first time she did the alphabet in sign language.

We’ve also endured heartaches together, like the last time she saw my dad before he passed away. She was only two years old when we lost him, and didn’t fully understand what was happening. But, I was doing the Mr. Mom thing at home during that time, and I can honestly say that she helped me through the grieving process more than anyone else, just by being the amazing child that she is.

Now, she’s a fearless, beautiful, hilarious 4 1/2 year-old girl who teaches me something new every day. I can’t wait to see what gems of cuteness she comes home from preschool with. I want her to make new friends, to have fun, and to learn as much as she can.

I also want to be the kind of person she can learn from at home, because I know she’s watching. She reminded me of that fact a few days ago, whether she knows it or not.

See, a couple weeks ago, I was listening to music on my laptop, as I often do when I get a chance. Just as I was wrapping up one song – I forget which one – she came up to me with a request.

To my surprise, she said she wanted to hear my song for her. As the first few bars of “Love of My Life” began, she smiled and sat in my lap, and stayed there until the song was over.

I’m not sure who needed that moment more – her or me.

As this new chapter in my little girl’s life begins, I must confess that I have high hopes for her. With her imagination, her stubbornness and her intelligence, there’s no telling what she can accomplish. I pray that she enjoys her time at preschool, and that she always knows her mommy and daddy are proud of her.

I hope, as she gets older, that I can be the kind of father she can be proud of as well.

Jason has worked in newspapers since 2005, spending the majority of that time in Henry County. He lives in Covington with his wife and daughter.