Dear Jack: A Dad’s Letter to His Son on His 10th Birthday

10 years old!

Dear Jack,

This year, I’ve become fully aware of this paradox: When you were young, part of me longed to see you as a grown boy; and now that you are a grown boy, part of me longs to relive those days with you as a young boy and toddler.

It has deeply, emotionally affected me this year.

With me being on a furlough for a couple of months due to Covid, I not only had more quality time at home with you than I normally would, but I also had more focused time to write new songs.

Through the nearly 2 week process of writing and eventually recording my song about you, “That Boy’s Been Growing Up on Me”, I broke down crying nearly every time I sang it.

In fact, the finished recording was one of the few exceptions where I didn’t break down crying.

As I myself am now only 5 months away from turning 40, I rarely lend myself to emotional responses. I  have evolved into a person who rarely utilizes access to my “emotional control box”. Largely, my quality of life has undeniably improved since practicing this habit over the past couple of years.

But the one exception is my family; especially in regards to us all getting older.

I couldn’t be prouder of the 10 year-old version of you. I got exactly what I wanted.

I’m nostalgic for the present, like it’s the past.

Happy 10th Birthday, Jack! To say “I love you” is a laughable understatement.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: Your Job Was to Remind Me About Papa’s Birthday Present

4 years, 6 months.

Dear Holly,

With Mommy out of town this week visiting Grandma, I told you right after I took Mommy to the airport:

“Holly, I need your help. Your job is to remind me to bring Papa’s birthday present when we take him out to dinner.”

You reminded me at least once a day leading up to it, meanwhile I forgot about it every day.

And sure enough, while we were all loading up to leave last night for Papa’s birthday dinner, you said, “Daddy, what about Papa’s present?”

You are the reason he got to open his present at dinner. I knew I could count on you… more than myself!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: Getting Your Own Gifts at Your Brother’s Birthday Party

4 years, 6 months.

Dear Holly,

This past Saturday, we celebrated your brother’s upcoming birthday with an early birthday party on Halloween.

You are one special little girl, because it wasn’t just your brother who received gifts.

First, you received a special water marker scribble pad; which has quickly proven to be a fun creative outlet for you; from our family friend Kaylie.

And Nonna and Papa gave you the clothes washing set you have been wanting for a long time now.

So while your brother spent the weekend playing with all his new toys, you definitely didn’t feel left out on your end.

It was like a little “half birthday” party for you, since you just turned 4 and a half!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: Your New Pink Rainbow Bedroom, As You Are Now 4 and Half Years Old

4 years, 6 months.

Dear Holly,

This past week you turned 4 and a half years old! It just so happened that we got finished with your bedroom makeover too.

Your bedroom is now painted the color, Ballet Slipper Pink. This is perfect, as you are currently taking ballet lessons.

We also got you a pink rainbow decal with pink butterflies to go above your bed.

I keep forgetting this is your final your of pre-school; specifically Pre-K. A year from now, you will be well into Kindergarten.

I can honestly say, I don’t take one minute for granted with you. I’m living in the moment as much as any Daddy possibly can.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Fall Break Begins and I’m Taking the Day Off Tomorrow to Spend with You

9 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack,

Tomorrow, I’m doing something I never do:

I’m taking off a day off work, and it has nothing to do with us going on a vacation.

I’ve had a really good year with my numbers as a Recruiter. So once again, I get a day off this month as a reward for my work last month.

So what better day to choose than one of the days of your Fall Break?

We’re going to wake up in the morning and go on a new hike- a place not too far from us that apparently used to be a driveable Jeep trail.

Actually, we may learn that it is still is a good trail to take our Jeep out on.

Mystery and adventure await!

Love,

Daddy