Dear Jack: I’m Watching You Grow Up on Autopilot

6 years, 11 months.

Dear Jack,

In the midst of me raising a very demanding (by default) infant daughter in addition to you, it’s both inevitable and regrettable, as your Daddy, that I can’t be more involved in all the little details of your life. I wish I could, but then I couldn’t be there for your sister in the ways she desperately needs me in these early developmental years.

I miss the candid moments that we used to have, back when you were an only child. Being an older brother has placed you in a situation where you have to be more independent of me.

In some ways, that’s a good thing. But I admit, I experience guilt in this, even if I’m doing the right thing by constantly minding to your sister, which gives Mommy the ability to focus on household daily chores, like preparing dinner and doing laundry.

It sort of leaves you out of the equation; to fend for yourself.

Right now, though, I’m thinking of John Mayer’s song, “Daughters”, where he talks about sons:

Boys, you can break
You’ll find out how much they can take
Boys will be strong
And boys soldier on

I guess that’s just the way I have to look at it.

But just know I really do miss our Saturday afternoon hikes through the woods, exploring alongside the creeks. I miss our one-on-one time.

I do the best I can to spend time with you alone, but it’s very difficult with your sister being the age she is.

So that’s why I feel like I’m watching you grow up on autopilot. I see this picture I took of my son a few weeks ago, and think, “Man, he’s starting to look like a teenager!”

Granted, that’s still several years off, but I do hope I can get back there, to when you and I had more time together. Just you and me.

Love,

Daddy

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