Dear Holly: The Cousins’ Homemade Playhouse in the Living Room

3 years, 4 months.

Dear Holly,

This past Labor Day Weekend, I feel that the major theme for you, your brother, and cousins was to make houses in the living room and then hang out in them; like an ongoing slumber party.

Apparently, there was even a farmer’s market where produce and animals were sold.

Granted, within a few hours, the house of pillows and play tents would inevitably get destroyed, only to be rebuilt each time.

The four of you had your own community and culture in which the adults were largely unaware of.

I have a feeling you all will rebuild your house the next time we are in town.

Love,

Daddy

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Dear Holly: Summertime Fun with Your Cousins

3 years, 3 months.

Dear Holly,

The way I feel is that the word cousins is synonymous with summer.

Looking back on these pictures from your recent slumber party with your cousins, it’s obvious you made the most of your time that weekend.

You were so proud to be able to sleep in the same bedroom as your cousin Darla, who is the same age as you.

As for you crying for your parents? I heard of no such thing.

That’s because you were having way too much fun being a 3 year old girl!

I don’t even want to know what time you actually fell asleep…

Love,

Daddy

 

Dear Jack: Mandatory Fun at Stevie B’s!

8 years, 8 months.

Dear Jack,

The day of my 20th high school reunion, you and your sister stayed with your cousins. For dinner, you all got to hang out at Stevie B’s. It’s a lot like Chuck E Cheese’s… so I’ve heard from you. I’ve never been there, but you love to go there any chance you get.

For you, it’s mandatory fun.

Yes, you love being there- but at the same time, you take your play time quite seriously, because you know that prizes are at stake.

Despite how hard you played though, it looks like all 4 of you had an equal amount of fun!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Your Surprise Visit to Have Lunch with Your Cousin at Her School

8 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

Last week while you were on Spring Break, you got to stay in Alabama with Nonna and Papa; which is also where your two cousins (on my side of the family) live.

As a complete surprise to your cousin Calla, who is also in 2nd grade, you showed up for lunch at her school. I can imagine how happy she was to see you.

Some of her classmates assumed that you were a new student in their class, and tried to take you in as one of their own.

Since you and your cousin don’t have Spring Break the same week, stopping in for a surprise lunch is a good way for the two of you to hang out.

But maybe one day, you’ll both actually have Spring Break at the same time.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: Taking About Boots is a Fun, Self-Imposed, Activity

2 years, 9 months.

Dear Holly,

This past weekend while we were spending the weekend in Alabama to celebrate Aunt Dana’s 35th birthday, you got to spend plenty of time with your cousins.

While your older cousin Calla was hanging out with your brother, you teamed up with Darla who is just a few months older than you.

As the two of you made your way over to the other side of the room to play in the toy corner, your cousin Darla enthusiastically and confidently suggested to you:

“Let’s talk about boots!”

Immediately, everyone else in the room began laughing.

It was so funny, and relevant, that the two of you would be excited simply to talk about boots!

Obviously, you were happy to oblige to her cousin’s idea.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: You Don’t Need a Nap as Long as You’re Playing with Your Cousins

2 years, 8 months.

Dear Holly,

During the Christmas holidays, we spent one whole day at your Aunt Dana and Uncle Andrew’s house. I enjoyed it very much.

That’s because I basically got the whole day off, just to sit back and enjoy old home videos that Uncle Andrew had transferred from VHS to our family’s own private YouTube channel that we were able to watch up on the flat screen TV.

There were so many classics, like the video I made Aunt Dana shoot exactly 23 years ago day, right before I got my haircut:

Meanwhile, you and your two cousins completely entertained yourselves the entire day, with all the toys they had in their playroom. For you, it was like getting to try out all the new toys in the toy store with your friends. And with it being a one story house, I never had to be watching to make sure you made it up or down the stairs okay.

You never even acted tired, so I didn’t have to put you down for a nap. And when you don’t have to take a nap, it’s one less thing for me to have to do.

You got to play. I got to rest. A good time was had by all.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Slumber Party at Your Cousins’ House!

7 years, 6 months. 

Dear Jack,

During your first week of summer vacation, which you spent in Alabama at Nonna and Papa’s, you asked your Aunt Dana if you could spend the night at her house one night.

Not only did you get to hang out with your two cousins, but you were specifically excited about getting to sleep on the floor. You saw it as a “slumber party”.

And because a storm was coming through the Friday night that Mommy and I were planning to pick you up, we weren’t able to arrive from Tennessee until the next morning.

So for your final extra night, you chose to stay with your cousins again and sleep on the floor.

I think it’s great that you’re getting to the age where you think it’s fun to spend the night with your aunt and uncle and cousins.

It’s good for your growing sense of independence. I think to some degree, it actually challenges you, as you have to adjust to a slightly different family culture; as each individual family has their own, though the differences may not be noticeable from the outside looking in.

After all, I wasn’t there with my many rules. Hopefully you didn’t keep everyone in the house up too late.

So you were proud to sleep on the floor, among pink kittens and unicorns.

Now I am wondering at what point your sister will be old enough to join in on the “Cousins’ Slumber Party”. I’m sure that would be a lot of fun! As long as I’m not there, with all my many Daddy rules, of course!

Because if I were in charge, it would be, “Okay, light’s out at 8:00. Don’t get up for anything. Just go straight to sleep!”

It’s obvious I’m reflecting my constant need for sleep onto you.

Love,

Daddy