Dear Holly: Did You Secretly Adopt Baby Yoda from Your Brother?

4 years, 7 months.

Dear Holly,

Your brother has started spending through some of his gift cards he got for his birthday. One of the things he bought was a Baby Yoda stuffed animal.

At the same time, we just got new floors in the downstairs to replace the carpet and we sold our furniture to make room for new furniture, to go with our new floor.

So you and your brother have been playing with your toys on top of quilts and blankets.

You had your brother bring down your doll bed. However, I don’t recall seeing any of your dolls in the bed: Only Baby Yoda!

I’m pretty sure you’ve spent more time taking care of Baby Yoda than your brother has; as if you adopted Baby Yoda from him!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: A Dad’s Letter to His Son on His 10th Birthday

10 years old!

Dear Jack,

This year, I’ve become fully aware of this paradox: When you were young, part of me longed to see you as a grown boy; and now that you are a grown boy, part of me longs to relive those days with you as a young boy and toddler.

It has deeply, emotionally affected me this year.

With me being on a furlough for a couple of months due to Covid, I not only had more quality time at home with you than I normally would, but I also had more focused time to write new songs.

Through the nearly 2 week process of writing and eventually recording my song about you, “That Boy’s Been Growing Up on Me”, I broke down crying nearly every time I sang it.

In fact, the finished recording was one of the few exceptions where I didn’t break down crying.

As I myself am now only 5 months away from turning 40, I rarely lend myself to emotional responses. I  have evolved into a person who rarely utilizes access to my “emotional control box”. Largely, my quality of life has undeniably improved since practicing this habit over the past couple of years.

But the one exception is my family; especially in regards to us all getting older.

I couldn’t be prouder of the 10 year-old version of you. I got exactly what I wanted.

I’m nostalgic for the present, like it’s the past.

Happy 10th Birthday, Jack! To say “I love you” is a laughable understatement.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Papa’s Surprise at His Birthday Dinner

9 years, 11 months.

Dear Jack,

Last night, we took Papa out for his birthday at Tito’s Mexican restaurant; the place in town that is subtly known for throwing whipped cream in your face if they find out it’s your birthday.

Plus, the food is really great!

I secretly signed to our waiter that it was Papa’s birthday… then waited for everyone to be finished eating, so that the wait staff would deliver the complimentary birthday sopapillas; along with the infamous whipped cream.

Unbeknownst to me, you were given to the responsibility of throwing the cream in Papa’s face.

You aimed for his mouth, but directly got his eye instead!

Dear Jack,

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: Your Job Was to Remind Me About Papa’s Birthday Present

4 years, 6 months.

Dear Holly,

With Mommy out of town this week visiting Grandma, I told you right after I took Mommy to the airport:

“Holly, I need your help. Your job is to remind me to bring Papa’s birthday present when we take him out to dinner.”

You reminded me at least once a day leading up to it, meanwhile I forgot about it every day.

And sure enough, while we were all loading up to leave last night for Papa’s birthday dinner, you said, “Daddy, what about Papa’s present?”

You are the reason he got to open his present at dinner. I knew I could count on you… more than myself!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Your 10th Birthday Party, 2 Weeks Early on Halloween

9 years, 11 months.

Dear Jack,

One question that began circulating was whether Halloween would still be happening this year, because of Covid. Well, we took matters into our own hands at our house:

We had your 10th birthday a couple of weeks early, on Halloween, which just happened to be on a Saturday this year.

The entire party was outside/open air. Most of the time you and your dozen fellow 4th grade friends played out in the court.

The rest of the time was spent in our garage, with the garage door open; as we did some games and crafts, as well has served pizza and cake.

Oh, and Mommy and I went ahead and gave you your gift early too:

The new electric Razor dirt bike you have been wanting!

Love,

Daddy