Dear Holly: Tastes Like Life Cereal?

6 years, 6 months.

Dear Holly,

Last Saturday morning while our family was hanging out at The Factory in Franklin, you and your brother wanted to get your designated treat at Urban Sips Sweets; a place your brother always likes to get shaved ice at.

Out of the dozens of flavors they have on the menu, you surprisingly chose “sour apple” for yours.

I had my reservations that you would even like it; especially when they had other options that seems more likely for a 6 year-old girl, like “cotton candy” or “birthday cake”.

But you confirmed that you were pleased with your choice of “sour apple”.

You told me, “Daddy, it tastes like Life cereal.”

I’m not sure how, but I’m just glad you liked it!




Dear Jack: A Dad’s Letter to His Son on His 12th Birthday

12 years old!

Dear Jack,

It was exactly 12 years ago today that I officially became a parent for the first time, when you were born.

My immediate thought this morning was, “I have a 12 year-old son… does that make me old?”

Years from now, when I think back to you turning 12, I am going to remember how badly you wanted a dog.

And as much as I wish I had it in me to let you get a dog, I also know that our family is not at a place in life where we are ready for that kind of responsibility.

(It would ultimately be my dog; as I’m the only one in our house who is virtually always home.)

I know I disappointed you in that decision, but without even trying, I quickly gained your favor again.

For the past 2 and a half years, ever since the Covid Shutdown, I have been working with you to use a bow and arrow, as well as your Red Ryder BB gun. You have remained passionate and committed to improving your marksmanship.

When you mentioned that you would like a BB pistol, let’s just say it was undeniable that idea would have been immediately “shot down”, had I not vouched for you.

You have already been extremely careful and responsible in regards to handling your bow and your BB gun rifle ever since I began training you.

So while getting a dog would have been too much responsibility, you gladly settled for a slightly more powerful version of your Red Ryder BB gun.

To me, your new BB pistol is the perfect symbolic gift for your on your 12th birthday, the final year bridging childhood and your teen years.

I am so proud of you. I always am.

And as much as it has been an honor to raise you so far, I very much look forward to helping you grow into a man in the years coming up ahead.




Dear Jack: You Chose Me as Your Theme for “Wacky Day”?

11 years, 11 months.

Dear Jack,

I’m glad I could help you out this past week, as your school had a “Wacky Day” theme.

As I said goodbye to you that morning, I realized that you were wearing a t-shirt with my face on it.

Back in college, when I spent two summers teaching English in Thailand, I had a friend who had a t-shirt made featuring my face on it. Twenty years later, you ended up with it!

And a few Christmases ago, Aunt Dana and Uncle Andrew gave me some socks they had made… also with my face on it.

So yeah, I guess that made it pretty easy for you to dress up for Wacky Day!




Dear Holly: Are You Going to Start Taking Cheerleading Lessons?

6 years, 5 months.

Dear Holly,

This past Saturday morning, I took you to a trial class for cheerleading. You decided this year you didn’t want to further pursue dance or gymnastics; despite how good you are at both!

Mommy got an email letting us know there was a recent opening in the cheerleading class, so I took you there to see what you thought of it.

The answer: You completely loved it.

Especially the part about you being the smallest girl there, which meant they practiced on you as the one to lift up into the air.

I hope you decide to pursue cheerleading classes. I saw that you clearly are a natural at it!




Dear Jack: You Sleep in a Human Hamster Nest Now?

11 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack,

A few weeks ago, Mommy rearranged the furniture in our bonus room. We also got a new TV for that room; one that is new enough to have Disney+ on it.

That turned into “Movie Night” on Saturdays; which ultimately meant you and your sister sleep in the bonus room after you either watch a movie, or a few episodes of a Disney show.

However, it become this instead: You play computer games while your sister watches Disney.

To make things more comfortable for yourself, you built what I can only describe as a “hamster nest”.

I took a picture of both your nest and our pet hamster’s.

Yeah, pretty much the same thing.