Dear Jack: I Was Able to Pick You Out in Cartoon Form from a Crowd

7 years, 9 months.

Dear Jack,

A couple of weeks ago, I attended the parent-teacher classroom orientation, while you stayed home with Mommy and your sister.

As I was one of the first parents to enter the classroom, I was informed that I needed to find your desk by figuring out which construction paper cartoon was the one you created.

I got it right on the first try. I was very proud of myself.

I know my son’s art style. I was able to pick you out. I think that’s pretty cool.

Love,

Daddy

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Dear Jack: Your Semi-Biographical (?) Portraits of Your Family Members

6 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack,

Sunday evening as Mommy was preparing dinner as I was helping Holly play with her toys, you snuck away to the kitchen table. You eventually surfaced to hand-deliver drawings to the three of us.

You had drawn a picture for Mommy, for Holly, and for me. I immediately saw some inspiration from Pokemon characters mixed with the Mr. Man book characters.

The one you gave you sister showed a cute little person with a pink crown.

The one you gave Mommy showed a person crying.

And the one you gave me showed a person so mad that his hair was on fire and smoke was coming out of ears.

Naturally, I immediately asked you, after thanking you for giving them to us, “Are these pictures of us?”
You insisted they weren’t. But I am thinking there’s a little bit of a Freudian slip in there…

I can easily understand how you wanted to show your acceptance of your sister as the sweet little girl she is.

As for Mommy’s character crying, as she’s just not one to cry, perhaps it symbolizes her need for my emotional support from me; as the husband and father. On a daily basis, you subconsciously observe me carefully listening to Mommy unpack her thoughts from the day.

Whereas for me, I typically don’t have much to say about my day when I get home. Instead, there are times when I walk through the front door after working all day and driving an hour to get home, to find that you and your sister are restless, tired, and hungry.

That puts me into a position where I am managing two young kids while Mommy tries to get dinner made.

So while I would love to be as care-free as Jack Johnson all the time, perhaps by default, I ultimately adopt the character of the mad and angry boss.

Again, I could be looking way too much into why you decided to draw these pictures for us, individually; then directly hand them to us.

You’re a clever kid who has a healthy sense of awareness. I think you made this drawings as a way of categorizing the members of your family.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Your Specific Decision to Draw Us Both the Same Size, What It Symbolizes

6 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

You brought home a drawing last week from school that shows two boys who are the same size; one with brown hair and the other with darker hair.

After I saw the drawing, you explained, “Daddy, that’s you and me in the picture.”

Obviously, that make my heart smile.

The weekend before, you and I had went exploring together, making the most of the couple hours of it wasn’t raining on that Sunday afternoon. So I imagine how our recent quality time together might have had some influence on you choosing to draw a picture of the two of us.

Then I noticed something peculiar about the drawing: You drew us both the same size.

You’re a very good artist. You know detail. You knew that to make the drawing true to scale, that I should have been bigger than you.

This is something you have proven in every other single drawing you have ever done: Mommy and I are typically drawn as about the same size as each other, and you are always draw yourself much smaller than us.

But instead, you made an artistic decision to deliberately draw you and me the same size.

I believe that is your subtle way of revealing how you process our relationship…

Sure, I’m the parent. I provide for your physical, psychological, and spiritual needs. I ultimately guide you and discipline you on a daily basis.

Yet still, you see us me as a friend, too. You know that I’m 29 and a half years older than you.

But when we’re hanging out and having fun together, I seem more to you like a 6 and a half year-old friend.

It wasn’t a careless mistake that you drew us the same size. That’s what I believe, at least.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: The Cowboy T-Rex, Because… ‘Merica

6 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack,

Like me, you may never really dedicate yourself to team sports. Sure, you may play soccer a year here and there, but really I predict your extracurricular activities will be in the field of art; as was the case for me.

I come home from work each day to see such masterpieces, which are just casual drawings from school. But they are full of thought, detail, and character.

This painting of a sheep impressed Mommy and me so much we have decided to keep it aside so that you can enter it into the Williamson County Fair.

And this amazing painting of a fish is proudly hanging on our fridge.

You particularly delight in drawing dinosaurs. It’s so impressive the way you can just draw these different types just from memory, in addition to being able to immediately tell me the correct names of each one.

But I must say, my favorite recent drawing of yours features two personified dinosaurs. On that fateful Saturday morning at the kitchen table, you asked me, “Daddy, which kind of hat should this T-Rex wear?”

I effortlessly suggested a cowboy hat, which you immediately agreed to.

You then decided that the country T-Rex should be wearing overalls and holding an American flag. I love how you automatically knew how to make that connection from just a cowboy hat.

Next came another T-Rex. In contrast, you drew him wearing a pair of shorts, a baseball cap and a waving a Digimon flag.

There are two ways of interpreting this piece of art.

Either the two dinosaurs are about to engage in a duel, using their flags as symbolic weapons…

Or, they have decided to become friends, despite their cultural differences. And that likely is the case, as you created speech bubbles for each of them, so they could say “hello” to each other.

You finished off the drawing by turning those speech bubbles into smaller versions of the dinosaurs, which wore hats just like the actual dinosaurs wore.

Yeah, you’re going to be an artist.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: I’ve Sunk to Your Level of Potty Humor

5 years, 2 months.

Dear Jack: I’ve Sunk to Your Level of Potty Humor

Dear Jack,

A few weeks ago, I told you about how at school you drew a picture of a dragon that breathed air out both ends…

Well, on Tuesday night as I was looking through your daily drawings, I discovered a happy Brontosaurus with his rear end facing what I thought was the pot of food.

But then you explained, “He eats the spaghetti and meatballs and then he potties them out.”

So the “pot of food” was actually the toilet. The brontosaurs apparently ate the spaghetti and meatballs (though he’s a vegetarian, like you), then just moments later they came out into the toilet.

Sounds like that dinosaur needs to have a toilet installed in his kitchen, if that’s the case.

In your typical style, you weren’t smiling or laughing as you told me this. It was became clear to me that you are simply fascinated by how the digestion process works:

Indeed, the dinosaur ate the spaghetti and meatballs and then they came out into the potty.

When I was your age, I was still assuming that when I ate food, it simply just went down to my toes. You’re beyond that naïve concept of thinking.

I couldn’t help but ask a few follow-up questions:

“Did you show this to your friends or teacher?”

“No.”

“Did you laugh when you drew this?”

“Yes.”

“Who did you draw this for? Who did you want to see this?”

“You and Mommy.”

Granted, you didn’t present this drawing to us. You casually waited for us to ask to see your daily drawings from school.

Of course, I couldn’t help but share your art on my Instagram, which is linked to my Twitter and Facebook.

My followers are starting to see a pattern in which potty humor is beginning to play a decent part in what I share about my life.

You are into understanding the physics of the digestive track, by default, becoming one who appreciates potty humor.

I celebrate you, therefore, I celebrate potty humor too.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Your “Dually Relieving” Animals Artwork

5 years, 1 month.

Dear Jack: Your “Dually Relieving” Animals Artwork

Dear Jack,

Monday afternoon when I picked you up from Pre-K, you asked me to help you get all your artwork from that day out of your folder. It was quite a stack of papers; probably at least 20 different pictures you had drawn there.

Right away, I noticed a peculiar, yet subtle piece of art. You had drawn a dog standing near an anthill.

Near the anthill was a sign that read “Boo” backwards. There were ants and spiders nearby as well.

As I examined the dog carefully, I noticed that as he smiled, he was also “dually relieving” himself.

To be clear, the dog was both “going #1 and #2” at the same time.

I verified what I was seeing, and you quickly admitted what was going on in the picture.

However, you weren’t laughing about it. You kept a straight face, as if to say, “What’s funny about this? This is art. It’s nature.”

I followed up by asking if either your friends or your teacher had seen the picture. They had not.

As soon as we got home, Mommy hung your picture up on the refrigerator.

To my surprise, the next day when I picked you up, déjà vu occurred as I saw a very similar picture; this time with a cat.

Dear Jack: Your “Dually Relieving” Animals Artwork

This time you smiled: “I made this picture for Mommy!”

We are indeed very proud of your artwork, as were many people on Facebook who saw the pictures as well.

Now that I look back on it, this wasn’t the first time you drew a “dually relieving itself” animal as artwork.

The weekend before the 2015 CMA Awards, a couple of months ago, our family met our friends Mohamed and Lena at the Cool Springs Whole Foods (in Franklin, TN) for a late lunch, around 2:00 PM.

As we were sitting down at the table with our food, Mohamed showed me a picture of both Jessica Biel (Justin Timberlake’s wife) with her baby, as well as Justin Timberlake’s mother.

Then Mohamed pointed over to just a tables away, asking us to verify that the people at the table were indeed the same as the ones he had pulled up on his phone.

Turns out, he was right.

Apparently, Justin Timberlake’s wife, son, and mother were having lunch while Justin was assumedly preparing for his appearance at the CMA Awards; where he would go on to do an instantly legendary performance with Chris Stapleton.

All of that was lost on you. I looked down to see you had just finished drawing a picture of an animal dually relieving itself.

Fast forward to this week: You decided to bring back the concept.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: What Is That Animal In Your Drawing Doing?

4 years, 2 months.

Dear Jack: What Is That Animal In Your Drawing Doing?

Dear Jack,

I am always excited to see what new creative artwork you have for me each day when I pick you up from school.

On Friday, right before we headed over to the circus, one of your drawings particularly caught my attention. You immediately began explaining it to me:

“Daddy, see- he’s got giraffe legs, a cow body, a robot neck, an elephant tale, and a bear head!”

Sure, I was slightly confused by the robot neck, but I had to ask you right away about the one part of picture you failed to describe:

“Jack, what is that animal in your drawing doing?”

Your unapologetic answer was somewhat understated:

“Oh, I did a brown arrow… to point at the poop… because he had a big poop.”

Classic.

Somehow in all your hundreds of pictures you’ve drawn, you’ve never drawn anything with potty humor before.

But that’s the thing; I’m not convinced you were trying to be funny. Your main focus was to point out how you cleverly designed a sort of Frankenstein-style animal.

Dear Jack: What Is That Animal In Your Drawing Doing?

You really do put so much thought into your artwork. Today you brought home 4 new pictures; one of them featuring a charming snowman. You explained to me the full story:

“Daddy, the sun is mad at the snowman because the snowman said he wanted the moon to come out instead that way the snowman won’t melt, so the sun turned purple because he was mad.”

Wow. Seriously. You are one creative little boy.

I am already imagining just a few years from now how your pictures will be evolving into full stories; where you will do like I did when I was a boy and make my own books; writing all the words and drawing all the pictures for your own homemade books.

That is going to be a lot of fun!

Love,

Daddy