Dear Holly: When Your Brother Accidentally Drew a Coloring Book Page for You

2 years, 7 months.

Dear Holly,

Last Saturday while your brother was at the kitchen table working on various art projects, you discovered a picture of a mouse crawling through a cave, with giant flowers.

You took it upon yourself to color his drawing, as if it were a page of a coloring book.

Based on the fact you used a green crayon to color the mouse, I take it that you assumed the mouse was a dinosaur.

Your brother didn’t seem to mind at all that you decided to help bring his drawing to life.

In fact, I’m pretty sure he took it as a compliment.

Maybe I need to get him to make you coloring pages more often, now that I think of it.

Love,

Daddy

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Dear Jack: You’re Halfway to Age 16!

8 years.

Dear Jack,

It’s taken me a few weeks since your recent 8th birthday to realize:

You’re halfway to being age 16. More specifically, you’re halfway there to being able to have a driver’s license.

Mommy and I were talking about it this week.

As we are really focused on investing our money beyond what we are already saving, we were discussing your college and our retirement.

But then Mommy reminded me, “Jack will be driving in 8 years, too. He’s going to need a car.”

I have a feeling that these next 8 years will pass by quicker than the first eight. I wonder what you’re first car will be?

If I’m lucky, you can have my 2004 Honda that I’m driving now so that I can finally get an upgrade.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: You Just Have So Much to Say These Days!

2 years, 7 months.

Dear Holly,

It is very obvious that your social skills are in full bloom. You are speaking so many words now and initiating so many conversations these days, that in can be challenging for Mommy and me to keep up with you.

In particular, the hour between the time I get home from work and the time dinner is ready can be a bit complicated.

While Mommy and I try to catch up after not seeing each other all day as she is making dinner, and while we also do our best to include your brother in the conversation, you are needing to meet your daily word quota during the midst of it. You have so much to say to us!

Your brother has been helping us out, though. He’s been sharing his toys with you to help keep you occupied and focused.

He even let you hang out in his new box that contained his new bunk bed we ordered. You are just so social and full of energy!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Your Thanksgiving Lizard

8 years.

Dear Jack,

When I think back on what seemed to make you the happiest over our family’s extended Thanksgiving weekend at Nonna and Papa’s house in Alabama, I would definitely have to say it was when you caught a lizard in a pile of leaves in the back yard.

You loved him so much, that it made leaving quite difficult.

First, Mommy and I had to explain to you how unlikely he would stay alive if we took him back home to Tennessee.

Then we explained to you that he couldn’t simply live as a captive pet in the garage either. It was very sad for you to have to say goodbye.

Yet still, he brought you a lot of joy- and that’s what matters more.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: Your Thanksgiving American Standard Toilet Box

2 years, 7 months.

Dear Holly,

I assisted Papa in installing two new toilets at his house while we stayed there for Thanksgiving:

One upstairs and one downstairs.

By the time the one upstairs was finished, I came back down to see that Nonna had cut out a hole for you to stand through.

If only we had unboxed the toilets at the beginning of the holiday weekend… now I wish we had.

That’s because the toilet box made the perfect little house for you.

Not only could you peek out of the top, but you also were able to pretend to sleep inside of it.

To think- not just a box…

but a toilet box!

Love,

Daddy

 

Dear Holly: This is My Favorite Picture of You This Week, Lounging Like a Preteen in the Backseat

2 and a half years.

Sometimes after I take a picture of you, I see you in a different way than I have before. This was the case when I snapped a picture of you last week while we were on our family trip to Destin in the 2019 Chevy Traverse.

Even though you are only 2 and a half, in that picture, I easily catch a glimpse of you years from now:

Relaxed, having fun, just chilling out while looking so cute.

Behind my jacket which is hanging over the top of your seat, you can see some of our shopping bags from when we went to the outlets.

It’s as if I am seeing you a decade from now, on the way back from you getting to spend all your own birthday money on clothes.

I love this picture.

Love,

Daddy

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.

Love,

Daddy