Dear Holly: You and Mommy are My Beautiful, Lovely Ladies

2 years, 2 months.

Dear Holly,

Last week, one morning before Mommy left for work, I snapped a picture of her holding you. Though I see the two of you in person every day, there was something about seeing you both in that photograph, which reminded me of what I already know:

Half of the population of our household consists of beautiful, lovely ladies.

While your brother and I serve as the court jesters and the adventure enthusiasts, it is you and Mommy who bring a necessary sense of elegance to our home.

That’s not to say that your brother and I don’t inevitably influence you to appreciate things like the Incredible Hulk; that on your own, you might not naturally gravitate towards.

In fact, I have you convinced that your class pet, a dwarf hamster named Gus Gus, drives a big pick-up truck. Each morning as I’m dropping you off at your school, you now have a routine and verifying with me:

“Gus Gus drive truck.”

You’re asking me…. but you’re also telling me. I always assure you that indeed, Gus Gus drives a truck. Admittedly, I’m confused on some of the logistics on how that could be true. Maybe sort of an updated version of Ralph S. Mouse…

But you know what a truck is. You know what a Jeep is. And you know that those are desired vehicles to be driven by humans and/or dwarf hamsters.

Still though, our boyish influence on you is ultimately to serve as irony against the naturally girly ways that you and Mommy so effortless display.

I just don’t see it in the cards for you to be a tom boy.

Instead, you’re a girly girl who has an appreciation for Marvel and Star Wars related characters. But I’m pretty sure you’d still choose Peppa Pig over Chewbacca.



I’m Responsible for My Son’s “Good Old Days”


One advantage of getting to review cars for this blog is that I get free access to XM radio. I’ve been flipping back and forth between XMU (rock music for college kids) and Alt Nation (modern alternative rock).

I recently was introduced to a perfectly nostalgic song called “Stressed Out” by Twenty One Pilots. My favorite part of the song contains these lyrics:

“Wish we could turn back time, to the good old days
When our momma sang us to sleep but now were stressed out”

Somewhat surprisingly, until I heard that song a couple of weeks ago, I had never truly fathomed that those “good old days” I myself lived through in the 1980s, some of the warmest and fuzziest moments and memories in my life, occurred only because of my parents.

Flash forward from 1985, when I myself was 4 years old, to 2015; now my own son is 4 years old.

My son lives in a wonderland of stuffed animals as friends; a land where monster trucks are a legitimate means of transportation… and where he can typically get away with eating mac-and-cheese for most of his meals as long as he eats his veggie-fruit pouch.

He lives in this wonderland in 2015 because of his mommy and me.

And I lived in that wonderland in 1985 because of my own parents.

It takes a good parent to create that wonderland for their own kid; which I assume if you are reading this now, then you must be one as well. Granted, providing a loving home is ultimately all it really takes to make that wonderland.

A child’s imagination takes care of the rest; as long as that child feels loved and cared for and listened to and played with and encouraged.

No matter which toys make up that wonderland, no matter how big or small the house is, and no matter how many other kids are in the wonderland in that big or small house with a lot or little toys… all that matters is that there is obvious love in that household.

That’s what creates “the good old” days for the kids we bring into this world.

It’s that simple, yet that epic:

I am responsible for my son’s “good old days.” All I have to do is simply love my son, something I am completely wired to do anyway.

And yet I never think about the sacrifices I make in my life to love him. And I’m pretty sure my own parents never did either when they were raising me.

Why My Toddler Is Like Chewbacca And Curious George

March 25, 2012 at 9:56 pm , by 

16 months.

I’m realizing pretty quickly that my son Jack understands a lot of what I tell him, though his vocabulary still only consists of 7 legitimate words.

It was always funny to me how in the Star Wars movies, the quick-to-assist Chewbacca could understand every word the humans told him though his best reply was always a mix between a gargle and a yodel.

Similarly, Curious George understands everything The Man in the Yellow Hat tells him to do (or not to do) though the clearest verbal communication George can respond with is cartoon monkey sounds.

Last night my wife and I were hanging out on the couch, entertained simply by our son who was burning off his “before bedtime” energy in the form of a one-baby show. As he grazed by us in the midst of all his running around the living room, we noticed that he needed to wipe his nose. My wife made casual mention of it to me.

Jack looked down at the coffee table, saw a Kleenex, picked it up and perfectly wiped his nose with it. That was cool.

But then, he ran over to the kitchen, opened the pantry door, pressed the lever on the garbage lid to open it, threw away the Kleenex, closed the lid shut, then re-entered the living room to continue his variety show for us.

He’s only 16 months! Sorry, but I’m impressed by that.

And then this afternoon I was getting him ready to go hang out with some friends and realized he was missing his left sock. I instantly assumed he left it somewhere downstairs. I told him, “Jack, we have to find your sock before we leave.”

He immediately sat up from the book he was reading, walked behind me to a pile of books he had already disorganized, and pulled the missing sock from underneath the rubble.

Again, the boy impressed me with his ability to respond to this new language that he is unable to speak in full sentences yet, but can fully respond and carry out certain actions;, just like Chewbacca and Curious George.

I’m starting to wonder what all I can train this little monkey to do…