Dear Holly: You and Your Brother Like to Use Each Other as a Pillow

3 years.

Dear Holly,

You and your brother have this habit after dinner of lazily laying around on the carpet, as you both sort of roll around on each other.

Or maybe it’s more like you are using each other as a pillow.

You even has this habit of putting your feet right in his face, as if you’re trying to use your toes to pick his nose!

But he is never are bothered by this.

Instead, the two of you begin laughing so loud by how silly it is.

Sometimes, you just have to be silly and lazy at the same time as your brother.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: Having a Big Brother is Pretty Great

1 year, 6 months.

Dear Holly,

This past Monday morning after Mommy left for work, your brother invited you to join him on the couch, as it happened to be one of his days he’s allowed to watch Netflix on the Kindle before school. To accommodate what he correctly assumed would be your preference, he chose some kind of “Barbie Goes to Space” cartoon.

I looked up to see you and your brother sitting very close to each other, by choice. It was completely your brother’s idea and you immediately went along with it.

It’s not easy as a parent to be able to take your picture together and have you both smiling or looking happy. But this wasn’t for a picture. It was already happening and I was just fortunate enough to grab the camera in time.

Plus, you just happened to be wearing one of my favorite shirts you own.

It has a cloud raining down smiley candy. I just love the way you were cuddled up so close to your brother, quietly fascinated by whatever was playing on the screen your brother was holding.

I love the way he was more interested in being close to you than he was the Barbie show he was providing for you.

The thing is, your brother truly always wants to be near you. But right now, I am still in the process of helping him understand how to just hang out with you.

I am trying to teach him there is a time for light wrestling and crawling out on the carpet, but it’s not most of the time.

Instead, most of the time would be moments like this; where the two of you just chill out and lay low.

Eventually, the two of you will find that easier to do.

But for now, his natural inclination is to rush toward you like a mad bull, and you laugh and cheer, which only encourages his rambunctious behavior right before school, dinner, or bedtime.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: Having a Much Older Brother Makes Your Life More Interesting

10 months.

Dear Holly,

I had never considered, until this past weekend, how dramatically different your life would be if you had an older sister, instead of an older brother; an one who is significantly older: Jack is nearly 5 and half years older than you.

When he is a senior in high school, you’ll be in 8th grade. Not only is he a different gender, but he’ll also always be in a different stage of childhood.

And I really like it that way.

I like how he naturally takes care of you, even if I’m understandably a little nervous…

Saturday morning as Jack was getting excited about me taking him to go see Kong: Skull Island, he chose to take on the persona of King Kong.

He built a mountain out of his stuffed animals and our living room sofa.

You were just watching in curiosity, from the kitchen floor as you meticulously dissected a patch of tissue paper.

“Grrrr! Roowwwrrr! Woohrrr!” Jack beat his chest as he gave you a scary look as he tossed debris at you, including a sock and a small stuffed animal.

You weren’t too impressed, but you were paying attention.

Then on Sunday evening, as Mommy was preparing dinner, Jack decided to give you free wrestling lessons.

There shouldn’t have been a big smile on your face the whole time, but there definitely was. You loved it!

I think one of the many advantages of having a much older brother is that, by default, you have no fear.

Not only are you used to the likes of a Kindergartner who pretends to be an angry roaring ape, and who wrestles you on the carpet, but you instinctively know that he’s also quick to protect you with that same strength.

Yeah, things would be much different if you had an older sister instead.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Your Sister Appreciates Your Reindeer Games

6 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack: Your Sister Appreciates Your Reindeer Game

Dear Jack,

Whatever you’re into and at given moment, Holly is always eager to be invited to the action. She sees you as an important source of knowledge, based on your 6 years of life experience, along with your adventurous boyhood perspective.

Last Sunday, all it took was me finishing a bottle of nearly expired cold-pressed juice from Kroger, with the “Woo-Hoo!” sticker on it to celebrate the savings.

Before I could make it over the recycling bag in the pantry, you saw the potential: “Daddy, can I have that bottle?”

You began tossing it into the air, finding enjoyment as it would bounce on the hardwood floor each time it landed. It didn’t take long for Holly to crawl over from the living room and plant herself right into the middle of the action.

She also could was able to see the wonder of an empty bottle flying through the air.

I know you aren’t aware of this, but it’s little events like that when you teach your little sister about life. She is learning from you. She is taking those lessons seriously.

As her brother, there are certain unique things you are able to teach her that I just don’t have an eye for. It’s those kind of reindeer games that remind me that you and your sister live in a version of the world where excitement can be found in things like… garbage.

Her already playful spirit is only being enhanced by your daily influence. There is a reason she immediately stops what she’s doing whenever you walk by. There is a reason she has a reverence for your silliness.

Because to her, you can offer life lessons that only come from an only brother. While she definitely loves her Mommy and Daddy, she looks at you in a way like she looks at no one else.

You’re a really big deal to her.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Your Sister Appreciates Your Reindeer Game

Dear Holly: Riding on Your Brother Batman’s Shoulders

14 weeks.

Dear Holly: Riding on Your Brother Batman’s Shoulders

Dear Holly,

You now depend on Jack to entertain you each evening while Mommy and I finish preparing dinner. These days, we are able to lay you down on a blanket while Jack finds new ways to amuse you.

Earlier this week, Jack discovered his Batman mask from his Halloween costume two years ago in his closet. He also grabbed his favorite blanket and decided to “fly” around you, flapping his “cape” and regularly stopping abruptly in front you to proclaim, “Beware!”

From there, he would present you with a dramatic pause, as if to solicit a response of possible intimidation.

Each time, you instead presented him with a look that implied, “Okay, go on… What else ya got?”

Anytime he would stop pretending to be Batman for any reason, like getting himself some water or a snack real quick, you would make it known that he needed to return to his job post.

Dear Holly: Riding on Your Brother Batman’s Shoulders

You would turn your head from side to side, looking for him, then letting out a squeal to communicate to him, “Hey, come back… You have work to do!”

I think your brother is surprised that even though he is just randomly joking around, he is actually playing an important role in the family: His ability to entertain you is an asset; more so than he might realize.

And last weekend when Nonna and Papa were here, Jack recruited me to help him carry you on his shoulders. With my assistance, he carried you the distance from the living room to the dining room, and back, several times.

This shouldn’t have been something you liked. It didn’t make much sense that you went along with it and liked it. I can clearly see how your sibling relationship is developing with Jack.

His obscure ideas again prove that even when Jack doesn’t take himself seriously, you often do.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: Riding on Your Brother Batman’s Shoulders