Dear Jack: Star Wars Matters Now

9 years, 1 month.

Dear Jack,

You and I recently went to go see The Rise of Skywalker; as more of an obligation to the fact we’ve seen all the other new Star Wars movies.

I knew that you liked it, but by this past weekend, I realized that at age 9, you are old enough to officially care about Star Wars now.

This past weekend when we visited the public library to check out some books and DVDs for the week, as is our family’s custom, you specifically wanted to check out Episode II: Attack of the Clones.

I softly warned you that it’s not one of the best ones, but you didn’t care.

Turns out, you loved watching it.

Afterwards, you started looking up Star Wars Lego sets online to spend some of your Christmas money on.

The funny thing is, you have yet to see the original 3 Star Wars that came out between 1977 and 1983.

We’ll get there…

 

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Our New Family Tradition of Visiting Bell Buckle the Weekend Before Christmas

9 years, 1 months.

Dear Jack,

As long as I’ve known Mommy, she’s always been curious about the exit on 1-24 for Bell Buckle, on the way back from Nonna and Papa’s house in Alabama as we make our way back home to Tennessee.

This year we decided to finally check it out, once Mommy found out that Bell Buckle hosts a Christmas parade on the weekends leading up to Christmas.

We enjoyed a hay ride with Santa, then got to check out the local shops in the town’s downtown area.

It was so much fun, we decided to make it a new family tradition!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Your New Converse All Star Shoes, with Flames

9 years, 1 month.

Dear Jack,

You’re at the age where you are constantly wearing out your shoes, as well as outgrowing them.

For your “2nd half of 3rd grade” shoes, you decided it was time for a new pair of Chuck Taylors; like I have.

However, when we went to Kohl’s, we learned that Chuck Taylors are not made is size 4 for boys.

Instead, we had to buy you the slightly more cushioned upgrade:

Converse All Stars.

You got some really cool black ones with flames on the bottom.

And, they aren’t designed to lace up all the way, so they look extra cool!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: The Old Abandoned House and Farm, Years Before It Became the Next Nice Neighborhood

8 years, 11 months.

Dear Jack,

Part of the glory of owning a 4×4 Jeep Wrangler is that we get to explore roads most people wouldn’t be able to in their cars. Sunday after church, we drove down the barely visible path to take a look at some land that is being advertised for sale.

I had been noticing that wooded hill for the nearly 5 years we’ve lived at our house. And finally, now I know what’s out on that land that will ultimately likely be developed to become several more cookie-cutter neighborhoods.

We discovered an old abandoned farm and farmhouse; less than a half mile from the main road.

Obviously, we didn’t step foot inside the buildings: They are all on the verge of collapsing after the next gentle breeze.

But using the zoom on my camera, I was able to take a look at a magazine from 1977, as well as receipt from 1982.

In other words, the most recent proof of life at that place was a year after I was born- and I’m only a year and a half away from turning 40.

One of the strangest discoveries was what appeared to be what was left of an outhouse. It was just a small hole leading to a 10 feet deep put filled will some rainwater.

When you’re a teenager, you’ll be able to tell your friends what you saw that day, years before it all became it all was plowed over and became the next nice neighborhood.

Love,

Daddy

 

Dear Holly: Your Brand-New Industrial Grade Playground Swing

3 years, 5 months.

Dear Holly,

Having a Papa who works at a playground equipment factory means that you when visit your grandparents’ house in Alabama, you have access to a backyard playground that is above and beyond the norm.

Last weekend, the debut of your brand-new industrial grade swing was revealed.

You loved it so much, you just didn’t want to stop swinging in it.

At one point, you swung in it for a solid hour and a half before Mommy said it was time to go in for dinner.

You have the Cadillac of all playground swings for a 3 year-old girl!

Love,

Daddy

Leading My Son and His Friends on a Scavenger Hunt Hike through the Creek, in Search of “Toxic Rocks” to Defeat the Villain, Red Rover

Last month my 3rd grader son and I left from the Cub Scout orientation meeting broken-hearted. I myself was in Cub Scouts for 4 years back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was a major part of my childhood.

But it’s not set up the same way anymore. At the meeting, the adults were ultimately informed that if we wanted our sons to be in Scouts, we would be volunteering to be the actual leaders.

In a household where both parents work full-time, I knew that it would be unwise to commit so much of my time to what would ultimately be a part-time job that would indirectly pay other people’s salaries, in the likeness of a multilevel marketing pyramid scheme.

So I decided to start my own group; for all the boys whose parents couldn’t commit to the actual organization.

I set up a “scavenger hunt hike” at a nearby park with a creek. Once all the boys arrived, along with a few younger sisters, a villain who called himself Red Rover popped out of the bushes.

He explained that his great-grandfather originally own the land, but instead of being able to inherit the land, it was given to the city as a public park.

Therefore, Red Rover hid 8 “toxic rocks” along the creek, which would dry up all the water if the boys couldn’t find them all within the following hour.

Here’s a video of that event:

As I expected, all 8 toxic rocks were found within the hour. Therefore, Red Rover returned from the bushes, in an attempt to take them back from me.

This led to a low-budget Marvel style fist fight between Red Rover and me.

Here’s the video for that part:

The boys (and their sisters) enjoyed playing on the park afterwards, as my wife had brought some snacks for the kids to enjoy as well.

And some might call this a major coincidence, but my friend Ben showed up after the scavenger hunt hike rough-house with the boys.

It was a plan that came together!

Now that the launch went well, I am excited to plan the next event…

Dear Holly: You are Cindy Brady from The Brady Bunch?

3 years, 4 months.

Dear Holly,

After your brother made his decision to spend his allowance money on a Funko Pop vinyl figure at Books-A-Million last Saturday, I wanted for you to be able to buy one as well.

You still had $4 remaining from your great-uncle Al giving you some money recently. Near the cash register, I noticed a clearance table. I scanned the dozens of characters to find one that was perfect for you…

I lucked out.

For just $3, there was Cindy Brady from The Brady Bunch.

I immediately showed it to you, and asked, “Holly, look… here’s Holly! Do you want to buy it and take it home?”

The next day as I was taking you into your preschool class, you proudly presented it to your teacher, proclaiming, “Look! I got a Holly!”

Needless to say, you’ve been sleeping with it every night as well.

Love,

Daddy