Dear Holly: Your Sick Day Home with Me

4 years, 11 months.

Dear Holly,

This week you and I had a special day where you encountered a 24 hour stomach bug and needed to stay home while I worked from the kitchen table. It just so randomly happened Mommy had to drive to work in Nashville that day; and of course your brother was at his school.

I set you up your own space by placing your bed blankets on our living room rug. You fell asleep within minute and stayed asleep for 2 and a half hours of the morning, despite me making calls in the kitchen.

When you woke up, you felt so much better; turning your floor space into a board game center.

I was sad to see you sick, but happy to take care of you!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: You are a Photo Shoot Waiting to Happen!

4 years, 3 months.

Dear Holly,

We recently drove to Jasper to further celebrate Papa’s retirement.

After our lunch at Top of the Rock, we enjoyed the scenery there, overlooking much of Tennessee.

As always, I had my camera handy. You just happened to be wearing your favorite rainbow skirt.

Because… of course you were!

I’m not for certain you were aware that I was following you around with the camera, because you were just simply being you.

But as you casually pranced around like the little rainbow princess you are, it might as well have been in intentionally photo shoot.

Because either way, you were ready!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: The Song Wrote About You- “If She’s a Princess, I’m a King”

4 years, 3 months.

Dear Holly,

Earlier this summer, I challenged myself to write a song about you- specifically, about our relationship as father and daughter.

This past week, I finished writing the song and published it to my YouTube channel.

The concept is this: You are a princess. Since I am your father, that means that I am a king.

Here are the lyrics:

Never thought I’d be the king of anything/Or live in a castle married to a queen/ It never seemed that would be my reality/Then I met a girl who changed everything/Those blue eyes are still a mystery/And when she smiles at me, it’s all that I really need

Well I’m a king if she’s a princess/A slumber party in an Elsa dress/The proudest ever ballerina, the blondest ever senorita/I’m the beast and she’s the beauty/An interruption to my routine/She’s always happy when she sees me/I am royalty, believe me/If she’s a princess, I’m a king

My midlife crisis came a little soon/An existential view with doom and gloom/I was so confused thinking, “What am I here to do?”/Then I met a girl who changed everything/Those blue eyes are still a mystery/And when she smiles at me, it’s all that I really need

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: Mommy Painted Your Nails for the 1st Time

2 years, 9 months.

Dear Holly,

All last week, you kept asking Mommy: “We paint my fingers and my toes this weekend?”

There was much anticipation for this event.

So Sunday afternoon, before you and your brother watched a movie with Mommy, she took you to the bathroom floor where she carefully painted each of your fingernails and toenails.

Needless to say, you were so proud to have Mommy do this for you.

I wasn’t surprised at all when I dropped you off at school on Monday and the first thing you did when you saw your teacher, Mrs. Kim, was to display your fingers and proclaim:

“Look! Mommy painted my nails!”

Yeah, you are such a little girl.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: Your Hair is Nearly Getting Long Enough for a Pony Tail

2 years, 1 month.

Dear Holly,

Now that you are 2 years old, the shift from toddler to child is becoming much more obvious.

One thing is that your hair is finally getting long enough to nearly put in a pony tail.

I only took you to get your hair cut  a couple of times; each time, you got a pixie cut.

But I insisted to Mommy that if we just waited a few months, you could have enough hair to pull back your hair so it’s not in your face.

While you would look adorable with bangs, I really like your hair being longer, now that you can grow enough hair to make it work.

Your current look started as what I called “The Unicorn”, where Mommy would pull your hair up into a sprout on top of your head.

Perhaps that’s the reason that one of my current favorite nicknames for you is Little Sprout.

I think you’re now at the stage where if someone who hasn’t seen you in a while sees you in person, their reaction will undeniably be, “That’s Holly? She has grown up! She is a little girl now! When did that happen?”

My answer is that it happened around your 2nd birthday.

You changed so much physically, as well as psychologically. You can talk. You can role play with your toys. You can throw a ball. You can socially interact.

This is what people are talking about when they say that cliche, “Don’t blink, ’cause they grow up so fast!”

Fortunately for me, I haven’t been blinking. I’ve barely been sleeping. But I have definitely taken a lot of pictures. And from October to May, I was able to spend 6 months with you as a stay-at-home dad.

I am grateful. Most dads don’t get to experience that. I’m lucky I get to be your Daddy.

Love,

Daddy