4 years, 7 months.
You and your cousin Darla have this tradition of “putting Papa in jail” every time the two of you get together.
My understanding of it is that you “arrest” him by taking him to a closet, where he has to wait until the two of you hide, then he has to come find you.
Afterwards, it typically ends with him reading you a book; or a similar activity while you sit in his lap.
Especially now during Christmas break, I am hearing daily, “Papa, you have to go to jail!”
He has quite the criminal record by now.
10 years old!
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.
4 years, 6 months.
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!
4 years, 6 months.
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!
4 years, 6 months.
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.