Dear Jack: You are Now 9 and a Half Years Old

9 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

You turned 9 and a half this week, during the time which was supposed to be your last week of 3rd grade.

It was sad yesterday as I drove to your school to pick up all your belongings from your teachers. The closest thing to closure you had for finishing 3rd grade was some Zoom calls with your class.

The tragedy is that, as I predicted last fall, 3rd grade would be your favorite by far. It is unfortunate it had to be cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But we still have each other and we still have our health. And we continue to still make life fun!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Playing Animal Crossing on Gamecube with Your Cousin

9 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack: Playing Animal Crossing on Gamecube with Your Cousin

Dear Jack,

Once it became official that the school year was ending early due to COVID-19, and that you would therefore have the longest summer break of your life, I decided it was to pull out a 19 year-old game system.

I am referring to the Nintendo Gamecube- and the game, Animal Crossing.

Yes, there is a brand-new version of the game out right now on Nintendo Switch.

But it is the 2001 version that I have introduced to you.

Interesting enough, your cousin Calla always happens to own the same game at her house.

So the two of you have been able to compare each other’s unique worlds, since every version of the game is different from the next.

Animal Crossing is a good way to pass the time in a fun and constructive way!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: Since You Didn’t Get to Have Your Double Birthday Party with Isabella…

4 years old.

Dear Holly,

We had much bigger plans for your recent 4th birthday. But like many things this year due to COVID-19, as it is for everyone else, we had to majorly alter what we originally had in mind.

The original plan was to have a double birthday party with your friend Isabella from your class at school, since the two of you were born just 6 days apart.

We bought you matching unicorn dresses and even had a pony ride lined up.

But instead, you got to spend some time with Isabella long enough for the two of you to play together in your dresses- and to exchange gifts.

You are so happy about the bath time Barbie she got you. Not only do you bath with it, but you also sleep with it.

Technically, this is your first Barbie doll, at age 4, since you don’t perceive your Elsa or Anna dolls as Barbies; even though they are.

Here’s to hoping that next year for your 5th birthday, we can have the kind of birthday party we had planned for you this year!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Helping Papa Restore His 1980 MG as He Retires Today!

9 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

Today is a very special day. After working at the same company since 1979, Papa’s last day of work is today.

He is retiring!

That means he is going to have more time to take you fishing and also be able to work on restoring his 1980 MG too.

This past weekend you helped Papa put on the louvers on the hood, as well as the antenna.

Granted, it is definitely a strange time to be retiring, as we are still in the middle of the COVID-19 lockdown.

But fortunately, none of that has delayed his retirement.

This is going to be very exciting!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: A Father’s Letter to His Daughter on Her 4th Birthday

4 years old today!

Dear Holly,

I have to say: You’ve been wanting to turn 4 years old for a long time now… I’d say for about a year, actually!

Your day has finally come: Today is your 4th birthday!

This is your COVID-19 birthday, but you will never remember that part of it- other than the fact that for some reason, both Mommy and Daddy stayed at home with you on that birthday.

It is obvious how I am so proud to be your Daddy. I am so glad that all of the little girls in the world, I get to have you, my little “Squeaky”, as my daughter.

I love you Holly!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Taking a COVID-19 Family Hike Near the Water Tower

9 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

Fortunately, we live in a part of Tennessee where there is no shortage of places to play the in creek or to take a hike. So since the COVID-19 lockdown started, we have yet to run out of new places to go as a family.

Last Saturday we took a surprisingly fun (and long) hike, just 2 miles from our house. There is a water tower up on the hill next to the Kroger. In my Jeep, I had driven up the service road to the water tower, but only recently learned there is a hiking trail from the other side of the hill as well.

We have lived here for over 5 years and never realized what a cool trail we live near! Granted, your sister is just now old enough to appreciate something like this.

I look forward to us going back!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: Life is Nothing But Saturdays Now!

3 years, 11 months.

Dear Holly,

I learned last Friday that my job is now on furlough until July 1st; hopefully sooner than that and not later. Therefore, you are out of pre-school until then: You are with me instead.

So now while Mommy is upstairs in the office still working, it is you and me and your brother all day; living like everyday is a Saturday where we don’t have to run any errands and do any housework.

All we have to do is fun, and a learn a little bit along the way.

Each day, we take a Jeep ride to one of many nearby creeks, then playing outside in the cul-de-sac, and then doing crafts inside.

I admit, this is not an ideal situation, as I have temporarily lost my job. However, it gives me a lot more time with you- and that makes me very happy!

Love,

Daddy