Dear Jack: A Dad’s Letter to His Son on His 11th Birthday

11 years old!

Dear Jack,

Today you turn eleven years old. This is an exciting time in your life.

Turning 11 in the 5th grade, a week before Thanksgiving, you now made it part of your identity to be a Taekwondo kid! You are so proud of your accomplishments so far, as you’ve recently earned your yellow belt. That is a big part of you turning eleven.

And then this weekend, to our surprise, you decided you wanted to be baptized- so you were!

I don’t see this as a forgettable year for you. I see it as a big, memorable year!

Happy 11th Birthday! I love you, Jack!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Maybe I’m Not Ready for You to Be Done with Plastic Toys, After All

10 years, 11 months.

Dear Jack,

This is my last letter I will write you while you’re still 10 years old. Your 11th birthday is now only a few days away!

I’ve kept it no secret from myself; how it’s not easy watching you grow up so fast, especially as you are now more of a pre-teen than a little boy.

As birthday gifts have been showing up in the mail, and as I’ve watched how you’ve used your gift cards from your birthday party, it surprised me a bit to see you choose… plastic toys.

I was thinking we were past that stage in your life.

Last year it was all about Fortnite. This year, it’s Roblox.

Yeah, I know. You’re just collecting more plastic that you’ll ultimately forget about a year from now.

But as for now, it’s proof that there’s still a little bit more “little boy” still in there.

I need there to be.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: Your Ability to Make Friends Instantly

5 years, 6 months.

Dear Holly,

In my mind, you are a quiet little girl, outside of our home. That’s how I imagine you.

But maybe not…

Because you have this habit of bonding very quickly with other girls your age.

Like this week when we were taking your brother to Taekwondo; as we were opening the door, I heard someone shout out, “Holly!”

She ran over to you and hugged you; then she touched your hair, saying, “Look Holly, we have the same color hair!” And the two of you giggled like besties.

Turns out; she’s in your P.E. class at school.

I remember this happening after your 1st first ballet class, as well. I heard, “Holly! Give me a hug before you go!”

When we got back to the Jeep, I asked where you knew that girl from.

“From dance class. I just met her today, Daddy.”

I have a feeling this will be normal for you: The ability to immediately befriend other little girls your age.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: You are Now 5 and a Half Years Old

5 years, 6 months.

Dear Holly,

There are some people in life who seem to act the exact same way, every time you see them. In my life, you are definitely one of those people. You always brighten my day, whether you are trying to or not.

You have a way of making me feel more alive and grateful. You simply smile and it changes everything for me. You make me feel loved

Just simply be being here.

We have a special connection. I am so fortunate to have you as my daughter.

You are precious. You are a jewel.

Now at 5 and a half years old, your personality is well established. This is you. I am so glad it is.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Your First Paid Job, Pet Sitting

10 years, 11 months.

Dear Jack,

This month was historic for you, in that it made the first time you truly had a paying job!

When you friend Landon’s family went out of the state for a week, it was up to you go to their house each day to feed their 3 cats- as well as a huge tank full of fish.

You took special care in making sure you could locate all 3 cats before we left their house each day. A few days in, you were able to more predictably figure out where each of the cats were hanging out; whether it was under the couch or on top of a bunk bed.

I am proud of you!

Love,

Daddy