Dear Holly: You are Still Planning on Marrying Brooks, From Preschool

5 years, 7 months.

Dear Holly,

Seven months ago, when you were finishing up preschool, is when I became well aware of your boyfriend (?) Brooks from your class.

He even said right in front of me one time, “Holly, remember… I’m going to marry you one day!”

Well even though you’re halfway through Kindergarten now (a different one than him), you still haven’t forgotten what he said- despite not seeing him since August.

In the mornings before school, you often like to draw pictures. This week, you drew one that made it to the fridge; as it proclaims, “Brooks and Holly Get Married.”

This is going to be hilarious if you and Brooks ever cross paths again. I don’t even know his last name!



Dear Jack: You Made a Stunt Double for Yourself

11 years.

Dear Jack,

I had just got done talking to you downstairs in the living room. Then, I walked upstairs and saw what appeared to be you… already there!

I immediately questioned how it was possible. Then I realized it was actually a stunt double (or should I say stunt dummy?) you had arranged in your chair.

You began laughing downstairs, as you figured out I had just discovered your creation.

“I made that last night before I went to bed,” you explained.

You and your sister named it “Jackson”.

Jackson literally took the fall for you, as you and your sister gave him a toss down the stairs to see how he would hold up.

Nicely done!



Dear Jack: The Special Song I Wrote for You for Your 11th Birthday- “Have a Good Life”

11 years old.


Dear Jack,

We had a spend-the-night birthday party for you the weekend of Halloween.

As I watched you interact with the four friends you chose to stay over, I felt like I was literally watching you grow up.

It inspired me to write this song- just for you:

I want you to have a good life/I want yours to be even better than mine/I’ve watched you travel through time/I’ve been beside you, tried to guide you through this ride you take me on/Have a good life, even better than mine

I can always remember when I was your age/Thirty years’ difference though most is the same/ I’ve been where you are, it’s really not that far/Every year of your life I put myself in your place/ So familiar it’s strange, though the backdrop has changed/I’ve been where you are, it’s really not that far

No one can love you the way that I can/I look at you and I see who I am/Half of you is me and will always be/When I move on to the life after this/Remember my love for you all of these years/Half of you is me and will always be



Dear Holly: Your Very Thoughtful Cards for Your Brother on His Birthday

5 years, 6 months.

Dear Holly,

For weeks now, leading up to your brother’s 11th birthday this week, you have been working diligently on a series of special birthday cards for him.

You had been storing them on your dresser, for the big day!

Finally, you got to see his reaction when you gave him all 5 of them.

One stood out though- I think it was everyone’s favorite:

“Dear Jack, I hope you have ever seen a caterpillar.”

Then you drew a picture of the two of you underneath.

It was so thoughtful and caring for you to spend so much time on making those birthday cards for your brother.

I will never forget it.



Dear Jack: A Dad’s Letter to His Son on His 11th Birthday

11 years old!

Dear Jack,

Today you turn eleven years old. This is an exciting time in your life.

Turning 11 in the 5th grade, a week before Thanksgiving, you now made it part of your identity to be a Taekwondo kid! You are so proud of your accomplishments so far, as you’ve recently earned your yellow belt. That is a big part of you turning eleven.

And then this weekend, to our surprise, you decided you wanted to be baptized- so you were!

I don’t see this as a forgettable year for you. I see it as a big, memorable year!

Happy 11th Birthday! I love you, Jack!