Dear Holly: Our New Fireplace Warms You Up… Even When It’s Not On?

6 years, 6 months.

Dear Holly,

This past weekend, our new electric fireplace arrived in the mail. To my surprise, it really added a whole lot to the ambience of our living room.

It simply plugs into the electrical outlet- and has an option to use the heater option, the fireplace display, or both at the same time.

Shortly after we got it set up, we had just the fireplace display on.

You ran up to it, bending towards it so you could heat up your buns.

Within seconds, you announced, “Ah, that heat feels good!”

I decided not to reveal to you that there was actually no heat coming from it. You were already convinced!



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 Jack: I Negotiated With You So We Didn’t Have to Go to the County Fair!

11 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack,

Something that was well established since our family’s (infamous?) Walt Disney World trip last Christmas was this:

I DO NOT do well in large crowds. It’s one of my personal living nightmare scenarios.

Therefore, when Mommy and I finally had to give in to you and your sister asking to go to the County Fair last weekend, I was definitely dreading it.

The anxiety and fear were building up.

Then on Saturday morning, as we had already waited nearly 20 minutes in a line just trying to get off the Interstate exit to get to the parking lot of the fair, Mommy kindly asked, “Jack, are you SURE you want to go to the fair today? We could do something else instead…”

At that point, I chimed in: “For the amount of money we would spend on you and your sister at the fair today, I will gladly give you both a stipend to spend at Target. Plus, we can go out for pizza first, at Mellow Mushroom.”

Like comedian John Mulaney says, “It is 100% easier not to do things than to do them, and so much fun not to do them- especially when you were supposed to do them.”

Officially, our entire family had more fun by cancelling our plans than going to the fair!



Dear Jack: Dressing Up for Wacky Day, With My Face as the Theme!

10 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

You had mentioned earlier this week that “Wacky Wednesday” was coming up at school. My closet happens to serve as a prop station for such an event!

For example, you considered wearing my Afro wig, but decided it would be too hot and itchy.

Yesterday as I was loading you up in the Jeep, I got a good look at your final costume:

A t-shirt that a friend made for me back in college, featuring a sketch of my face; with my name in Thai below.

And the socks were the ones with my face on them; a gift from Aunt Dana and Uncle Andrew from a few Christmases ago.

Needless to say, you were definitely wacky enough for Wacky Wednesday!




Dear Jack: What Your Classmates Said About You on Valentine’s Day

10 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack,

When I try to imagine what you are like at school, I imagine a boy who is not afraid to raise his hand to give the teacher the correct answer or to ask a relevant question.

I imagine a very studious boy who takes rules very seriously.

And I definitely am right about my perception.

However, last week I learned beyond that, how your classmates perceive you.

For Valentine’s Day, your teacher had all of you students write an adjective about each student.

The majority of your classmates chose to the word “funny”!

I knew you were smart, but I didn’t realize you also make your classmates laugh so much!

That’s… funny!