Dear Jack: Our Friday Off Together

9 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack,

Last Friday went perfectly! I took the day off to spend with you during your Fall Break.

We spent the morning going on a long hike that led us to a cool creek where you got to play in the mud and clay- then I took you out for donuts.

It was definitely a nice change of place.

Then on Saturday morning, you and I went apple picking in the light rain.

Even though you’re now a month away from turning 10, you still reached out to hold my hand during our hike on Friday. That means a lot to me.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: Why I Call You “Squeaky”

4 years, 2 months.

Dear Holly,

Ever since you started really talking, and especially now to the point you are actually chatty, the name I have called you has been “Squeaky”.

You have a soft, sweet little voice, that often sounds sad for no reason.

Any time you tell a story, you often begin with, “Yeah, p’cause…” as if it needs some melancholy explanation.

You make things sound so sad even though they are not actually sad at all.

So to me, the naturally name for you is Squeaky.

Anytime you call out to me to tell me something, with “Daddy…”

I instantly respond with, “Yes, Squeaky?”

That has become the norm for us.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Jumping on the Trampoline with Papa, Like 2 Kids

9 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

I enjoy looking out the window and seeing you jumping on the trampoline with Papa; specifically now that he is retired.

It reminds me of 30 years ago when I was your age and he would jump with me.

I’m glad he enjoys jumping with you, because for some reason, after I stopped being a kid, it started making me too dizzy and disoriented to jump on a trampoline anymore.

When I see the two of you jumping together, it makes me think of the song I recently wrote, called “These are the Good Ole Days”.

It is important to recognize how fortunate we are, even if in the moment, it doesn’t seem like we are in the good ole days; because we probably are.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: Can You Just Stay 3 Years Old Forever?

3 years, 7 months.

Dear Holly,

Here recently, I’ve been hearing Mommy ask you, “Holly, can you just stay 3 years old forever?”

She’s got a good point.

This is definitely an enjoyable age for me as your Daddy. You’re potty trained. You can clearly communicate what you want. And you do a great job of entertaining yourself during times Mommy and I are getting household chores down.

In fact, you’ve even begun helping with some of those chores, including help me clean the toilets and the hamster’s aquarium.

What I love best is how adorable you are these days. You are basically a stuffed animal kitten that came to life and can talk now.

I’m sure 4 will be great too.

But as for right now, I’m in no rush for you to stop being 3 years old!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: Your New Alarm Clock, to Ensure You Don’t Wake Up Too Early

3 years, 4 months.

You and I had a deal. It had been working for many months now:

Each night as I put you to bed, I would remind you, “Okay Holly, remember- don’t come downstairs until you see the sunlight start coming through the window.”

It helped ensure you didn’t start the day too early.

But for some reason, you stopped going along with our deal.

This past week, your new default wake-up time was 5 AM.

So I decided to set up a new system. I pulled out an old cell phone and let you decide what song you want to play for the alarm.

It’s less of an alarm to wake you up each morning and more of an alarm to let you know what time you are allowed to come downstairs and start the day.

I sure hope this works…

Dear Holly,

Love,

Daddy