Dear Holly: Your Brother is Helping You Learn to Draw Animals

3 years, 10 months.

Dear Holly,

This past week at our house, we have been focusing more on manners.

I am very pleased with the results I have been seeing since.

Your brother has been very helpful in kindly teaching you how to use flashcards and how to draw on your magnetic tablet.

Yesterday morning as I was making a protein shake, I saw how he made up a fun game for you:

He provided 3 flashcards at a time; each one of a different animal. Then you chose one to draw.

It was precious. Every animal you drew was a smiley face with arms and legs growing out of it.

Except for the buffalo. They had antlers which looked like little arms on their heads.



Dear Jack: I Was Able to Pick You Out in Cartoon Form from a Crowd

7 years, 9 months.

Dear Jack,

A couple of weeks ago, I attended the parent-teacher classroom orientation, while you stayed home with Mommy and your sister.

As I was one of the first parents to enter the classroom, I was informed that I needed to find your desk by figuring out which construction paper cartoon was the one you created.

I got it right on the first try. I was very proud of myself.

I know my son’s art style. I was able to pick you out. I think that’s pretty cool.



Dear Jack: Your Amazingly Accurate Family Portrait That You Drew for Fun at School, That Almost Got Thrown Out

7 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

This past weekend as Mommy was cleaning out your back pack from school, in an effort to throw out anything you didn’t need in there anymore, she found a hidden treasure, asking, “Ah Jack, what’s this?”

It was immediately obvious that you had done an amazingly accurate job of drawing and coloring a picture of your family.

The details were all there.

You and you sister have blue eyes, while your parents have brown. You mixed yellow and brown for your hair color, which is a sandy brown; unlike your sister’s blonde hair and your parents’ brown hair.

I had to laugh, because I now realize you purposely drew me wearing hat, as you’ve made it clear in a subtle way thought you don’t like my current look of choosing a zero guard buzz cut. (With a gentle nudge from Mommy this week, though, it has been decided I’ll be growing my hair back out now.)

In your drawing, Mommy’s lips were colored in full, as compared to the rest of us: I’ve never seen her when she’s not wearing lipstick.

You even took great measure to get our wardrobes right. Clearly, you put a lot of thought into this picture.

What makes me proudest about your drawing is that you chose to do this on your own, at school. It was not part of an assignment.

You just took it upon yourself to draw your family, with great personal details according to each family member.

And we’re all happy in the picture; which is a reflection of how you see us.

I’m looking at the psychological reason you drew this picture. This was your way of expressing that you love your family.

The thing is, there was no guarantee we were even going to see it.

In fact, it almost got thrown away, as it was casually mixed in with a bunch of old graded homework.

You didn’t draw this picture to impress me.

But boy, you managed to anyway.



Dear Jack: Your Special Drawing about My Grandma’s Funeral (“My Fall Break Fun” Worksheet)

5 years, 11 months.

Dear Jack: Your Special Drawing about My Grandma’s Funeral

Dear Jack,

Mommy showed me a worksheet you completed last week, in which you described and illustrated what you did over the 4 day Columbus Day weekend. Immediately, I noticed the section you devoted to my Grandma’s funeral.

You clearly drew her casket, with the elaborate flowers that were on top, with one of the pews next to it. I am definitely impressed by the details you put it to that.

I know that when Nonna finds out about your drawing, she will especially appreciate the fact you remembered the flowers, because it was very important to Nonna that Grandma’s casket had beautiful and elaborate flowers on top of it.

You noticed those flowers enough to include them in your drawing. That’s amazing to me.

Throughout history, people have naturally created art to preserve images of things they value. You valued those flowers. You valued being there at my Grandma’s funeral.

You also drew Nonna and Papa’s house, and the pool next to it.

And apparently the road trip back to Tennessee was of value to you as well, since you made sure to document a picture of us driving back home, from Alabama where the funeral was.

Dear Jack: Your Special Drawing about My Grandma’s Funeral

I love how you did your best to spell:

“I with at my nons.” (I went to my Nonna’s.)

“Foonrul.” (Funeral.)

“My friz: Jack, Jine, Veru.” (My friends: Jack, Jenna, Vera.)

“I with hom.” (I went home.)

“I had fun.” (Correct.)

Since your school was out both Friday and Monday for Columbus Day, you went to the extended day program at your sister’s daycare.

You enjoyed being there so much! You were so excited to go back on Monday, having been there Friday. As your drawing indicates, you very much valued spending the day with your friends Jenna and Vera.

I will always value your artwork. It’s never just about your drawing skills. Instead, it’s about the stories your drawings tell.

Thanks for being so creative.



Dear Jack: Your Special Drawing about My Grandma’s Funeral

Dear Jack: I’ve Sunk to Your Level of Potty Humor

5 years, 2 months.

Dear Jack: I’ve Sunk to Your Level of Potty Humor

Dear Jack,

A few weeks ago, I told you about how at school you drew a picture of a dragon that breathed air out both ends…

Well, on Tuesday night as I was looking through your daily drawings, I discovered a happy Brontosaurus with his rear end facing what I thought was the pot of food.

But then you explained, “He eats the spaghetti and meatballs and then he potties them out.”

So the “pot of food” was actually the toilet. The brontosaurs apparently ate the spaghetti and meatballs (though he’s a vegetarian, like you), then just moments later they came out into the toilet.

Sounds like that dinosaur needs to have a toilet installed in his kitchen, if that’s the case.

In your typical style, you weren’t smiling or laughing as you told me this. It was became clear to me that you are simply fascinated by how the digestion process works:

Indeed, the dinosaur ate the spaghetti and meatballs and then they came out into the potty.

When I was your age, I was still assuming that when I ate food, it simply just went down to my toes. You’re beyond that naïve concept of thinking.

I couldn’t help but ask a few follow-up questions:

“Did you show this to your friends or teacher?”


“Did you laugh when you drew this?”


“Who did you draw this for? Who did you want to see this?”

“You and Mommy.”

Granted, you didn’t present this drawing to us. You casually waited for us to ask to see your daily drawings from school.

Of course, I couldn’t help but share your art on my Instagram, which is linked to my Twitter and Facebook.

My followers are starting to see a pattern in which potty humor is beginning to play a decent part in what I share about my life.

You are into understanding the physics of the digestive track, by default, becoming one who appreciates potty humor.

I celebrate you, therefore, I celebrate potty humor too.



Dear Jack: Your “Dually Relieving” Animals Artwork

5 years, 1 month.

Dear Jack: Your “Dually Relieving” Animals Artwork

Dear Jack,

Monday afternoon when I picked you up from Pre-K, you asked me to help you get all your artwork from that day out of your folder. It was quite a stack of papers; probably at least 20 different pictures you had drawn there.

Right away, I noticed a peculiar, yet subtle piece of art. You had drawn a dog standing near an anthill.

Near the anthill was a sign that read “Boo” backwards. There were ants and spiders nearby as well.

As I examined the dog carefully, I noticed that as he smiled, he was also “dually relieving” himself.

To be clear, the dog was both “going #1 and #2” at the same time.

I verified what I was seeing, and you quickly admitted what was going on in the picture.

However, you weren’t laughing about it. You kept a straight face, as if to say, “What’s funny about this? This is art. It’s nature.”

I followed up by asking if either your friends or your teacher had seen the picture. They had not.

As soon as we got home, Mommy hung your picture up on the refrigerator.

To my surprise, the next day when I picked you up, déjà vu occurred as I saw a very similar picture; this time with a cat.

Dear Jack: Your “Dually Relieving” Animals Artwork

This time you smiled: “I made this picture for Mommy!”

We are indeed very proud of your artwork, as were many people on Facebook who saw the pictures as well.

Now that I look back on it, this wasn’t the first time you drew a “dually relieving itself” animal as artwork.

The weekend before the 2015 CMA Awards, a couple of months ago, our family met our friends Mohamed and Lena at the Cool Springs Whole Foods (in Franklin, TN) for a late lunch, around 2:00 PM.

As we were sitting down at the table with our food, Mohamed showed me a picture of both Jessica Biel (Justin Timberlake’s wife) with her baby, as well as Justin Timberlake’s mother.

Then Mohamed pointed over to just a tables away, asking us to verify that the people at the table were indeed the same as the ones he had pulled up on his phone.

Turns out, he was right.

Apparently, Justin Timberlake’s wife, son, and mother were having lunch while Justin was assumedly preparing for his appearance at the CMA Awards; where he would go on to do an instantly legendary performance with Chris Stapleton.

All of that was lost on you. I looked down to see you had just finished drawing a picture of an animal dually relieving itself.

Fast forward to this week: You decided to bring back the concept.



Dear Jack: Your Drawing Of A Freak Wearing A Backpack

3 years, 10 months.

Your Drawing Of A Freak Wearing A Backpack

Dear Jack,

This past weekend on our fall road trip from Nashville to Asheville, as we reviewed the 4G capabilities of the 2015 Buick LaCrosse, you passed some of the time by drawing pictures in the back seat with Mommy.

I was focused on the road, but peripherally I heard you say, “Look Mommy, I drew a picture of a freak… wearing a backpack!”

Sure enough, you did.

Your picture of the “freak wearing a backpack” actually reminded me of those creatures from Spy Vs. Spy in Mad magazine; or the Yoyo the dodo bird from Looney Tunes.

Mommy and I questioned you on where you heard the word “freak.” We assumed you heard it at school or even by watching an episode of Spongebob Squarepants in the hotel when you first woke up.

You told us you just made up the word. I believe you. It’s not the first time you’ve made up a word; it’s just that this particular word actually made sense in context.


When I asked you what a freak is, you casually responded, “It’s just a kind of monster, Daddy.”

White Spy Black Spy

Fair enough. Makes sense to me. And though I’m not sure what the significance is in him wearing a backpack, but I like it.

I adore your art. You should know that by the fact I’ve got a folder named “Jack’s Art” on the Facebook page for Family Friendly Daddy Blog.

And your Freak Wearing A Backpack is a prime example of why I appreciate what you do.

I love the way you are so specific to whatever you are creating, with such passion and concern, and that your art projects are typically something so randomly themed.

Freak Wearing A Backpack almost sounds like it could easily be the name of an actual work of art on display in a museum in New York City or something.

Yoyo Dodo_(1)

The “freak” is wearing a backpack. I’m just taking that in right now.

That’s awesome.



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