A Magazine About Food, Art & Exchange In Midtown Kingston, Published By The Hudson Valley Current.

Daddy Debrief: Beginning Again

Fall brings memories of grade school and the smell of new school supplies.

There are no traditional school supplies to get yet for Finn, but we did go shopping for some new rain gear, which he enjoyed trying out in the store a day or two before his first day of kindergarten.

“I have to see if I can run in it!” he said, taking off across the store.“And I might lay on the ground so I better test that out,” he said, lying down on the floor and rolling around. Thankfully there were few customers in the store at the time.

On the first day of school, he walked gingerly onto the grounds holding onto my hand, then tightening his grip when he sensed it was time for me to go. I looked around at the other parents, some making the separation easily, others not. Last year we had a few difficult dropoffs.

I wondered if this would be one. Then a couple of his friends came running up, asking Finn to come play. Suddenly I could barely get his attention enough to say goodbye. He gave me a kind of over-the-shoulder glance and off he went.

The next day, Erin took him to get his first professional haircut. I didn’t go, but she sent me pictures. He sat perfectly still and she said he was so serious. The change was dramatic. I’m still kind of mourning the wavy locks. He looks so much older and about an inch taller. “Who is this little man?” I thought.

While he was at school, l had begun working on a new painting. A few months ago, I sketched a peony on a canvas and it was just sitting on the easel. I guess the creative feeling in the fall air inspired me to add some color to it—and when Finn got home, he noticed it immediately.

“Hey Daddoo, you haven’t painted in a long time,” he said. “How come you haven’t painted?”

“I’ve been busy with other things,” I replied.

“I like it,” he said, pausing to looking at it. “Yeah. I like it… But where are the thorns?” he asked.

“It’s a peony,” I said

“Are you sure?! I think it’s a rose,” he said. Then he proceeded to show me where the thorns should go.

He’s only a few weeks away from turning five, so I’ve noticed an increase in his confidence and dexterity lately. I guess I can add “opinion” to that list as well.

Anyway, he’s right. Whatever. I have artistic license. It’s a rose peony.

I’m happy to see Finn take changes in stride. Tonight he asked if he could go to school “a hundred times a week.” That’s a desire that I’m pretty sure will change as he gets older. But the tinge of excitement and possibility mixed with the cooling temperatures will likely stick around for the duration, if he’s lucky. And I think he is. Even if he is a little opinionated.

David Dewitt is an artist, blogger, and painter who lives with his family in the Rondout Valley. For more, visit daviddewitt.com.