Dear Jack: This is My Favorite Picture of You This Week, Throwing a Sea Cucumber Back into the Ocean

8 years.

Dear Jack,

For me, this picture of you perfectly captures who you are now, at age 8.

It was our first morning out on the beach last week in Destin to celebrate your birthday. The beach was covered in sea cucumbers, most of them appearing to still be alive, but barely.

I suggested that you throw as many as you could back into the sea.

Fortunately, you had your trusty shovel with you, which served as the perfecting launching pad.

While I’m not sure how many lives you saved that morning, I do know that the ones you threw back definitely stood a better chance of survival, had you not come along to rescue them.

I think it’s really cool how in this picture, not only is the landscape beautiful in a way not typically associated with Florida, but how you can see the sea cucumber flying through the air as the immediate result of your throw, still in motion.

This is a memory that I will always associate with your 8th birthday.



Dear Jack: In 3 Weeks’ Time, You Watched All 50 Episode of Disney’s Bunk’d for the 1st Time

7 years, 8 months.

Dear Jack,

We began our recent two week-long family vacation in northern California by staying a few nights in a cabin in Truckee, which is just a 25 minute drive from Lake Tahoe. Whenever we travel, you discreetly take advantage of the fact that I tend to let you get away with binge watching The Disney Channel.

It was then and there you were introduced to a summer camp-themed kids’ show called Bunk’d.

By the 5th episode, you had already memorized all the words to the opening theme song and were singing along.

When I was kid, the summer camp-themed show for kids to watch was Salute Your Shorts or even Hey Dude. But for your generation, it’s definitely Bunk’d.

I think the fact we were staying up in the mountains of California only reinforced the concept of the show. We even ended up going out on pedal boat on Lake Tahoe, thanks to your insisting on it.

Could that notion have been inspired by the adventures you had been seeing on Bunk’d? I submit that it was.

By the time we got back to Grandma’s house where we stayed for most of our 2 weeks, you were able to continue watching your new favorite show each day on her TV.

Meanwhile, back at our home in Tennessee where we only have the free channels that came bundled with our Internet, you discovered that Bunk’d is on Netflix!

Needless to say, you spent all of your designated screen time on finishing every episode you didn’t already see in California. Apparently, you watched 50 episodes of Bunk’d in about 3 weeks’ time.

But never fear, it just so happened that the newest season of Bunk’d, Season 3, recently premiered. So give it until Christmas vacation, and I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to watch the entire new season before you even get a chance to open the presents.




5 Reasons Why “How Was Your Vacation?” is an Annoying Question

Maybe I stand alone in my feelings on this one… and I wish I didn’t feel this way…

5 Reasons Why “How Was Your Vacation?” is an Annoying Question

But one of the reasons I always dread returning to work from a week-long vacation is that I know everyone who sees me is going to sincerely ask me this immediately:

“How was your vacation?”

I suppose I should analyze the psychology behind why I find that question to be pesky.

1)      I just got back from missing at least 5 business days of work. It’s going to take me at least half a day to simply get caught up on my email alone. I don’t have time to be chatty on my first morning back.

2)      It was a vacation from work. It’s pretty obvious I had a good time.

3)      If I didn’t have a good time, that would be an awkward, unexpected answer. So even if it was a bit stressful at times, travelling with a kid and driving across the state of California or Florida, I might as well say it was a good vacation because otherwise it would only lead to more annoying questions.

4)      Why ask me, when you can just look at my Facebook pictures that I uploaded last night? Just look on your phone. What is this, the year 2003?

5)      I am bummed because now I have to be back at work. I’m not in the mood to talk about fun stuff. I am still in culture shock, you know. Just 3 days ago, I was still at the beach.

Yes, I sound like a jaded, yet responsible 34 year-old husband and father.

Coworkers are just trying to be friendly and nice. Their hearts are in the right place. I bet they even missed me while I was gone.

Asking, “How was your vacation?” is probably their way of simply welcoming me back.

But seriously, can’t they wait until the end of my first week back- after my brain has had a chance to get fried from all the Excel data entry and I’m ready to escape again mentally?

5 Reasons Why “How Was Your Vacation?” is an Annoying Question