Dear Jack: Your Prehistoric Sea Monkeys Science Experiment

8 years, 9 months.

Dear Jack,

This past weekend, you sold some of your toys in the garage, so that you could buy some things that are more relevant for you as a 3rd grader.

You are so proud of the “prehistoric sea monkeys” you bought. They came with instructions, which you explained to Mommy and me:

Three days under a lamp causes the shrimp to hatch!

Turns out, today was the third day. Sure enough, we were able to see nearly microscopic little white dots start moving around.

You have recently started talking to us about getting a pet lizard for your birthday. Admittedly, this “prehistoric sea monkey” experiment might serve as training grounds for the lizard.

We’ll see how this thing goes…

Love,

Daddy

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Dear Holly: A Summer of Sunscreen (and Sunburn)

3 years, 3 months.

Dear Holly,

Thanks to multiple family members taking DNA tests, it is officially undeniable that you have a decent amount of DNA that is Italian, Mexican (Native American/Spanish), Sephardic Jewish, and West Asian (from Iran, Iran, Lebanon). But I don’t think most people would think that if they saw you, thanks to your blonde hair and blue eyes.

Your physical traits are more representative of the Norwegian and British DNA you also have.

While your brother was also born with blonde hair, blue eyes, and fair skin, his hair and skin have turned much darker over the years.

I am beginning to have serious doubts that your skin will get much darker because by the time your brother was your age now, he wasn’t still getting sunburned as quickly and easily as you do.

This has been a summer of sunblock and sunburn for you.

You are the white sheep of the family.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: You are 8 Years, 8 Months Old… While Your Sister is 3 Years, 3 Months Old

Dear Jack,

I am always interested in cool little patterns I happen to notice. Even if no one else cares, I like to take notice of such things.

For example, I just noticed that you are now 8 years and 8 months old, while your sister is 3 years and 3 months old.

I’m not that good at math, so I’m not sure if this pattern will happen again any time soon.

It’s possible it’s already happened before. But if it does happen again, I’ll definitely notice, since I not only keep up with how many years old my kids are, but also how many months.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: These are the Days of Halo Action Figures and Beyblades

8 years, 8 months.

Dear Jack,

These letters I write to you often serve as a bookmark to show you whatever you were into at that point in your life.

Therefore, I can positively tell you that these days, it’s Halo action figures and Beyblades that you’re into.

I have a rule that when you come home each day, you need to immediately find something to eat and find an activity to keep you occupied.

Here lately, you have spent much of your “during dinner prep” time has been carefully organizing your Halo action figures and ranking your Beyblades.

It seems like work to me. But to an 8 year-old boy, that translates as fun!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: You Now Own a 16 Year-Old T-Shirt with My Face on It, with My Name in Thai

8 years, 7 months.

Dear Jack,

We spent last weekend at Nonna and Papa’s in Alabama, at the same house I grew up in.

After you took a shower on Sunday morning, you realized you didn’t have a clean t-shirt to wear

I walked over my old bedroom to take a quick look at the t-shirts hanging up in the closet.

Instantly, I discovered the perfect t-shirt for you to wear:

Back in college, I had recorded 3 different albums of songs I wrote.

For the cover art on the first album in 2003, I traced a photo of myself as the logo.

Then, that summer of 2003 when I was teaching English in Thailand, I gave one of my CD’s to a friend there.

Accordingly, they had a t-shirt made with that logo of my face, with my name in Thai underneath it.

(Unfortunately, the size of the shirt didn’t come close to fitting me.)

There’s a good chance you are the only boy in America who owns a t-shirt with his Daddy’s face on it, along with his Daddy’s name in Thai underneath.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure of it, actually.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: You Get to Be the Boy in the Back Seat of a Jeep with the Top Off

8 years, 7 months.

Dear Jack,

Every father wants his son to be able to have an amazing, adventurous childhood that he will be able to think back on with gratitude.

I am aware that I am helping to create your childhood; for better or worse.

Undeniably, since we got the Jeep Wrangler about a month and a half ago, it has been obvious you have been having a good time in it.

Yes, it’s true that the Jeep is a toy for me. But it’s a toy that I can to share with you.

You get to be the boy in the back seat of a Jeep with the top off.

I’m pretty sure that leads to a childhood you will appreciate now while you’re still a kid, and for the rest of your life as an adult.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: These are the Years I Can’t Take a Normal Photo of You

8 years, 7 months.

Dear Jack,

I’m learning just to go ahead and take the silliest photos of you these days, because that’s about I can get. You don’t want to go through the hassle of smiling for pictures, but you will make a goofy face and pose in some ridiculous way.

So I’m just going with it.

I realize that these hilarious photos are the truest concept of your personality: When you already having fun, you don’t want to stop to be serious.

You just want to keep having fun.

I can work with that… assuming every once in a while I can get a real smile!

Love,

Daddy