Dear Jack: Diggin’ Up Onions

9 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack,

While Nonna and Papa were in town a few weeks ago, you spent one afternoon with them digging up little wild onions in the community area of our neighborhood.

I had always wondered why often, it smells like onions when people mow their lawns. Now I know why- little wild onions are often growing in the lawn.

Once you collected several pounds of the wild onions, you washed them off over the sink. Your sister helped.

Now that I think of it, the two of you should have opened a “Wild Onion” stand in our neighborhood. Nothing like a refreshing wild onion on a crisp Spring morning!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Diggin’ Up Bones (from Owl Pellets)

9 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack,

It is an unspoken understanding that anytime you have an extracurricular activity sponsored by your school, it will be just you and me. In most cases, Mommy stays home with your sister, getting her ready for her bedtime which is earlier than yours.

Or, in the case of the Super Bowl Breakfast last month, I dropped off your sister first, then ate with you and your school.

Last night, your school conducted his annual STREAM night, where every classroom in the school becomes a different science experience station.

Your favorite was the one where you got to dissect an “owl pellet.”

As I just happened to learn from one of your library books a few weeks ago, owls can’t actually chew up their food.

Instead, they just swallow it whole, digest the meat, then regurgitate a furball of bones.

After you dissected your first owl pellet, which turned to be the remains of a mole.

You enjoyed it so much, you then requested to dissect a 2nd owl pellet! You were the first and only student to make this request.

The 2nd owl pellet was for a shrew; an animal I can’t differentiate from a mole.

It is confirmed that in our kitchen pantry (not sure how that ended up being the most appropriate place!) there are now two plastic baggies containing the bones of two undigested rodents.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: Your Brother is Helping You Learn to Draw Animals

3 years, 10 months.

Dear Holly,

This past week at our house, we have been focusing more on manners.

I am very pleased with the results I have been seeing since.

Your brother has been very helpful in kindly teaching you how to use flashcards and how to draw on your magnetic tablet.

Yesterday morning as I was making a protein shake, I saw how he made up a fun game for you:

He provided 3 flashcards at a time; each one of a different animal. Then you chose one to draw.

It was precious. Every animal you drew was a smiley face with arms and legs growing out of it.

Except for the buffalo. They had antlers which looked like little arms on their heads.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: How You Avoided a Nap While Mommy and I Watched a Movie

9 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack,

Last Sunday, Mommy and I needed an hour to finish the second half of the movie we rented from Redbox. While it is not uncommon for you and your sister to need to take a nap on Sunday afternoon, it was apparent to me that you both were full of energy.

Therefore, I explained to you both that if you could independently figure out how to entertain yourself downstairs while Mommy and I finished the movie upstairs, I would let you forgo naps.

You both agreed to the deal.

An hour later, when our movie was over and we came downstairs, we found the source of your entertainment.

Using the Noah’s Ark tent your Uncle Al and Sharon got you several years ago, you and your sister collected as many blankets and pillows as you could find and filled it up.

Ultimately, it became something like a swimming pool.

You and your sister took turns running up to and attempting to jump high enough to jump inside.

It was a plan that came together. We’ll have to try this again sometime.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Jenga by Candlelight

9 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack: Jenga by Candlelight

Dear Jack,

Exactly a week ago, Nonna was in town as your sister was still recovering from having the flu. That was the day when Mommy had to come home late, so by the time you got home from school, it was just the three of you as I drove home for work.

While I was still in the town over from where we live, I noticed all the street lights had stopped working. So by the time I got home, it was no surprise to see that our entire neighborhood was without power.

As the sun was quickly going down, Nonna lit a candle in the kitchen. You all played Jenga by candlelight.

Fortunately, you didn’t play too long by the time I arrived, before the power magically turned back on; right as it finally got completely dark outside.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: Your Spider-Man Balloon with Extra Helium

3 years, 9 months.

Dear Holly,

As you were still recovering last week from the flu, Papa bought you a Spiderman balloon to help cheer you up.

Though you received it a few weeks ago when you stayed with Nonna and Papa in Alabama, the balloon made its way back to our home in Tennessee.

This weekend, as you were playing with the balloon, Mommy snuck up behind you.

She grabbed you by the waist and picked you up, making you think the helium in the balloon was so powerful that the balloon was pulling you up in the air.

Even now, I’m not sure if you realized it was just a trick!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: Getting the Purple Glove Treatment for the Flu

3 years, 9 months.

Dear Holly,

Last Friday afternoon, I received the call from your school that you had a temperature of 105 degrees! I took you to doctor and confirmed what your school had accurately predicted: You officially had the flu.

The doctor made it clear you would be contagious for the next week and were not allowed to go back to school for that long.

I was very impressed with how well you handled yourself during the entire doctor visit. You started getting a bit restless there towards the end, as you kept trying to tell me something while the doctor was explaining the process of giving you medicine.

“Oh, I forgot,” I explained to the doctor. “Holly is hoping she can take care a pair of those purple medical gloves you have there in the box hanging on the wall.”

That’s all it took to make you happy, despite how physically horrible you were feeling.

You wore then on the ride home. You wore them to bed. And you wear them the next day while you played with your toys.

Getting the flu meant you needed the purple glove treatment!

Love,

Daddy