Dear Jack: The Family We’ve Become in the Past Decade

10 years, 11 months.

Dear Jack,

Tonight before bedtime, as a family, we ended up randomly looking through our family’s photos on Mommy’s Facebook account. We spent about 20 minutes travelling back a solid decade; back to when you were still just a baby.

Back to when Mommy and I were brand-new parents, still in our 20s… and now we’re both 40!

And now, you’re less than a month away from turning 11 years old; as strange as that sounds to say.

From my perspective, it almost seems like when Mommy and I got married over 13 years ago, we were just playing house. Then, after a year, we found out about you coming along.

Flash forward to now: This is your last year of Elementary school. You do Taekwondo. You don’t really care so much about plastic toys anymore or Pokemon cards.

You’re growing up. And this whole time, I’ve been doing my best to not let a minute slip past me.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: You Asked Me, “How Can a Skeleton Believe in Heaven?”

5 years, 5 months.

Dear Holly,

To my surprise, this Halloween season has apparently sparked some theological discussions I barely feel qualified to answer.

I am assuming your recent questions have been inspired by all the Halloween decorations in our neighborhood, which include plenty of skeletons and ghosts.

My favorite question of yours:

“Daddy, how can a skeleton believe in Heaven?”

I’m pretty sure that you’ve been swapping the word “skeleton” for the word “person”, as you have asked me several times now, “Daddy, are we really just skeletons?”

The best I could explain it was that yes, we are skeletons, but the spirit inside of us makes us actually alive; that’s sort of like the ghost decorations you’ve been seeing. I went on to explain that basically, if you combine a skeleton and a ghost, that’s more like a real person.

You went along with my narrative, then followed up with, “But Daddy, how do the skeletons believe if they don’t have a brain?”

Good point. My logic involving skeletons and ghosts didn’t quite provide a reasonable enough explanation.

So I asked you, “Holly, do you believe in Heaven?”

You immediately shook your head, yes.

I responded, “Then that’s all that matters.”

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Carving a Jack-O-Lantern with Papa

10 years, 10 months.

While Nonna was inside the house, painting baby pumpkins with Nonna in the kitchen, you were outside in the front yard with Papa carving up our family’s official Jack-O-Lantern for this Halloween season.

Thanks to some cheap props from the dollar store, you two were able to make a really cool, and scary, Jack-O-Lantern for us to display out on our front porch.

And that carved pumpkin alone serves as the extent of our family’s Halloween decorations, despite being surrounded by neighbors, and neighborhoods, of just about every other house decked out in huge inflatables and plastic skeletons in their front yards!

Dear Jack,

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: Finger Painting Baby Pumpkins with Nonna

5 years, 5 months.

Dear Holly,

When Mommy visited Grandma in California last week, I invited Nonna and Papa to come up from Alabama for a few days.

I took off Saturday morning to go to the gym and then meet a friend for coffee. Meanwhile, you and Nonna decided to have some good old-fashioned fun, by turning our kitchen table (which usually serves as my “office” for work) into an arts-and-crafts station.

The week before, our family had visited a nearby pumpkin farm and you chose two little pumpkins as your souvenirs.

You decided that you wanted to paint them with Nonna… with your fingers!

So you did- and you sure had fun!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Showing Your Sister How to Play at a Pumpkin Patch

10 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack,

It is our tradition as a family to visit one of the nearby pumpkin patches each Fall season. This year, with your sister being a 5 year-old girl, not a preschooler, it was clear she was interested in participating in more adventure than in previous years there.

You were sure to show her the way- and she was just as eager to follow you.

Whether it was going into the spooky house, jumping off the mountain of hay, and going down the huge tunnel slide together.

I loved being able to watch the two of you have fun together.

Love,

Daddy