Dear Jack: Star Wars Matters Now

9 years, 1 month.

Dear Jack,

You and I recently went to go see The Rise of Skywalker; as more of an obligation to the fact we’ve seen all the other new Star Wars movies.

I knew that you liked it, but by this past weekend, I realized that at age 9, you are old enough to officially care about Star Wars now.

This past weekend when we visited the public library to check out some books and DVDs for the week, as is our family’s custom, you specifically wanted to check out Episode II: Attack of the Clones.

I softly warned you that it’s not one of the best ones, but you didn’t care.

Turns out, you loved watching it.

Afterwards, you started looking up Star Wars Lego sets online to spend some of your Christmas money on.

The funny thing is, you have yet to see the original 3 Star Wars that came out between 1977 and 1983.

We’ll get there…

 

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Your New Converse All Star Shoes, with Flames

9 years, 1 month.

Dear Jack,

You’re at the age where you are constantly wearing out your shoes, as well as outgrowing them.

For your “2nd half of 3rd grade” shoes, you decided it was time for a new pair of Chuck Taylors; like I have.

However, when we went to Kohl’s, we learned that Chuck Taylors are not made is size 4 for boys.

Instead, we had to buy you the slightly more cushioned upgrade:

Converse All Stars.

You got some really cool black ones with flames on the bottom.

And, they aren’t designed to lace up all the way, so they look extra cool!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Your Hamster’s New Aquarium

9 years.

Dear Jack,

It turns out, cages sold for hamsters aren’t truly intended for the type of hamster you have. A teddy bear hamster, or Syrian Hamster, is much happier in an aquarium; as opposed to a cage.

So last week, on a random school night, I took you to the pet store to help me pick out a 20 gallon aquarium for Alpha.

Not only is he clearly much happier in the open space, but it is undeniable that you are much more excited to have a pet hamster now!

You are actively involved and excited each evening when we get him out to play.

Plus, it is much easier to clean his home that he predictably pees in the same corner now! Out with the cage, in with the aquarium.

Love,

Daddy

At Age 38, I Am Now the Proud New Owner of a Teddy Bear Hamster (Formerly My 9 Year-Old Son’s Birthday Gift)

Two weeks ago, my wife and I finally cracked on our “no pets in our home, ever” policy, when our son authentically and repeatedly asked for a pet hamster for his 9th birthday.

Being the extremely frugal Jewish-minded parents we are, we cut a deal with our son:

If you buy the cage, we’ll buy the hamster.

So after he went all out and spent $50 on the coolest hamster cage ever, my wife and I dropped the $16 required to purchase a hamster.

Things were off to a shaky start of our son’s pet ownership when as he was attempting to place the hamster in its cage, it bit him on the hand, drawing blood.

I felt bad. So I took it upon myself to hand-tame the 3 month-old hamster.

By Thanksgiving, I had successfully trained the hamster to crawl out of the cage into his hamster ball. Naturally, the rodent and I began to bond.

Throughout the process, I continually invited my son to be a part of the process. He just wasn’t that impressed.

With a 30 day return policy, I began openly talking about returning the hamster. At first, he pleaded against the idea.

But this past weekend, he actually asked if we could return the hamster.

Well… too late.

Because I had already told my wife the day before, “The hamster openly shows me it appreciates me. It depends on me yet I don’t feel taken for granted. I will adopt the hamster as my own.”

I admit, there’s undeniably some psychology in there. I accept that, often, as a parent, you don’t get much verbal appreciation from your kids.

Granted, I’m a grown man. I don’t need confirmation to know I am loved or appreciated.

But the hamster is able to provide something my son is not in this time in his development.

Therefore, the hamster and I now have a symbiotic relationship:

I clean his cage, feed and water him, and provide entertaining exercise for him.

He crawls up to the cage door anytime he is awake and sees me, as if to say, “Hey Buddy, I’m ready to come out so you can take care of me.”

My son named him Alpha. I’m keeping the name. He’s the alpha male of hamsters.

Dear Holly: Looking Back Over 3 Years Ago Since You Met Your Friend Hanna

3 years, 6 months.

Dear Holly,

Your friend Hanna came to visit us last Saturday morning for breakfast. The two of you love playing together.

Hanna’s daddy took a picture of you playing in your mermaid blanket. It reminded me of when the two of you both met for the first time; back when you were only 6 months old.

We had joked that you were Elsa and Hanna was Jasmine.

So I suppose from now on, every time we take an updated version of you both, we’ll compare it back to that picture of when you two met each other!

Love,

Daddy

 

Dear Holly: You Won the Boat Race Against Your Brother!

3 years, 6 months.

Dear Holly,

You have now been initiated into the Shell tradition of boat racing in the creek.

Back in college, some of my friends and I would make silly boats of of plastic bottles and race them in the creek in a nearby park.

Several years ago, when your brother was about your age now, I started teaching him how to make boats to take to the creek.

Now this tradition has been passed down to you, as your brother built a brand-new boat for you.

Honestly, I wasn’t even involved in the process. He took care of it all.

All I did was walk the two of you down to the creek and watch you both have fun.

And as it turns out, you actually won the boat race!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Helping Your Sister Build a Boat for the Race

8 years, 11 months.

Dear Jack,

Over the years, you and I have had this tradition of going to the creek in the next neighborhood over, to sail your newest homemade boat.

Now that it finally rained recently, allowing to give the creek water again, we decided to head back there.

But first, you spent some time with your sister after church, helping her design her own boat, so that the two of your could race them.

To your surprise, her boat won the face.

To my surprise, that didn’t bother you at all.

I think you were just proud to teach her how to have fun in a new way!

Love,

Daddy