Dear Jack: Saying Goodbye To KinderCare, Your Preschool Since July 2011

4 years, 2 months.

Dear Jack: Saying Goodbye To KinderCare, Your Preschool Since July 2011

Dear Jack,

A week from this Friday, Lord willing, we will officially be moving into our new house. And for you, that means you will start going to a just-opened preschool, right around the corner from where we will be living.

Since before Thanksgiving, we have been renting out a bedroom from some friends. It’s a very nice place to stay; but obviously, it’s a bit like living in a “tiny house” since there are three of us living in the same bedroom.

Dear Jack: Saying Goodbye To KinderCare, Your Preschool Since July 2011

Once we move, Mommy will be able to start working from home once a week.

Plus, she will start going in to work early (meaning I’ll be the one who will be getting you ready for school in the morning, which I am very happy about!) and therefore Mommy picking you up earlier than you’re used to.

I am also really excited about the extra quality time you will be able to spend with Mommy.

That’s why we’re moving you to this new school. KinderCare is great; there’s just not one where we’re moving.

Moving you to this new school near our new home is the best decision for our family, to have more quality time together now that’re moving 35 miles away from Nashville, to the “bedroom community” of Spring Hill.

We’ve had you enrolled at KinderCare since July 2011; since you were only 8 months old. As of today, you are 4 years, 2 months old.

Dear Jack: Saying Goodbye To KinderCare, Your Preschool Since July 2011

That makes 3 and a half years of your life, more than 80%, in which your daylight hours of weekdays have been spent at KinderCare. That’s a lot of time!

So it’s a big deal that you will no longer be going to school there. Two weeks from today will be your last day there.

You’ll have to officially say goodbye to all the friends you’ve made over the years, along with your teachers.

It’s even a little bit sad for me as well, because I’ll no longer taking you on the hour and a half or more daily round trip commute to school and work with you.

Dear Jack: Saying Goodbye To KinderCare, Your Preschool Since July 2011

Instead, I’ll drive you about 5 minutes to school each day. Then, Mommy will pick you up (earlier than you’re used to) and drive you back home the other 5 minutes.

Imagine that: Just 10 minutes in the car each day as compared to at least an hour and a half!

That’s good. Despite the quality time I’ll miss with you in the car each day, you won’t have to be in the car as much, plus you’ll be in school less than you’re used to, and you’ll get to spend more quality time with Mommy; which you definitely need more of.

It’s a bittersweet symphony, but I believe it’s definitely for the best. I’m looking forward to our family’s future.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: The Glory Of Classic American Holiday Sweaters

4 years, 1 month.

Dear Jack: The Glory Of Classic American Holiday Sweaters

Dear Jack,

I recently realized that of all people, I didn’t own an official holiday sweater. Seriously, I’m the epitome of dads who should own one!

A few days ago at work, my friend Sam walked in wearing a holiday sweater featuring two reindeer facing each other, with a giant snowflake in between them.

That’s the moment I became aware of my sweaterless condition.

Conveniently, the same day I received a gift card for Target. I was there for probably 30 minutes, not really impressed by any of their holiday sweaters; either too expensive or just not enough character.  But right as I officially gave up, I saw it…

A Captain America sweater! Seriously, how awesome is that?!

It couldn’t be more perfect.

Turns out, today at your school, KinderCare, it was “holiday sweater day.” So you got to wear your grumbly monster sweater, while I wore my new one as well.

Dear Jack: The Glory Of Classic American Holiday Sweaters

So now you and I are both set when it comes to owning that special token holiday sweater. Both of ours are funny, masculine, and awesome… to represent us, right?

I feel that little stories like these really help represent my pride as your dad. I love it that you enjoy making goofy selfies with me.

It’s so much fun to celebrate in stuff like this together with you. I keep reminding you that a year from now, the first of the new Star Wars movies will be in theatres and we’ll get to see it together. What a perfect time to be a little boy!

You’ve already expressed interest in Yoda.

And I think daily about how next summer, we get to camp out in the backyard of a new house, that we are scheduled to close on January 29th.

I like being your Daddy.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: The Lego Hospital You Built At Your School

4 years, 1 month.

Dear Jack: The Lego Hospital You Built At Your School

Dear Jack,

Yesterday when I walked in your classroom at KinderCare to pick you up, I noticed that a couple of your friends were helping you build the largest Lego project I’ve ever seen you do.

You showed me how the huge hospital only had one chair for the patients to sit on. I saw a Lego man leaned back; while a line of a dozen or so homemade Lego men (4 small blocks in a T-shape to represent a person) waited in line for the chair.

Another actual Lego man was hanging from the roof, though I’m not sure why.

It appeared as if you were the foreman of the construction project, as your friends Xavier, Jacob, and Joshua assisted you.

Turns out, that was the case.

When I dropped you off this morning, your school director Mrs. Tonya explained there was a slight disruption right before we walked in.

Apparently, one of your friends who was not part of your construction project tried to take a Lego piece off of it:

“No! That’s Jack’s! You can’t touch it! He’s still working on it!” your friend Joshua explained to other student; as Mrs. Tonya explained it to me.

It’s pretty cool to see you in this role of project manager among your friends. From what I’ve seen when I pick you up each day, you’re never the kid who is highly vocal; leading others in that way.

Instead, what I am seeing is you leading your friends through ideas and activities. I like that.

Anytime you receive a new Lego set, we build it together; only for you to take it apart a few hours later, using its unique parts to combine with other unique parts of other sets.

You love the wrecking ball you received with one of your birthday gifts from last months.

The way I feel, all these countless hours playing Legos at home are yielding the results in your play time at school.

I will gladly take pride in seeing you as a creative innovator.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Your Friend Lucy Says I’m A Nice Daddy

3 years, 9 months.

Dear Jack: Your Friend Lucy Says I’m A Nice Daddy

Dear Jack,

Last Thursday as I was picking you up from KinderCare and walking you to our car, your friend Lucy saw us walking by and proclaimed to her own Daddy, “That’s Jack’s Daddy. He’s a nice Daddy!”

I had really never considered my reputation among the 3 year-olds of your school.

Maybe I really am a “nice Daddy.”

Hey, I’ll take a compliment anytime I can; even from a 3 year-old.

When I walk in each day to pick you up from school, your friends always begin talking to me; like they’re supposed to or something. It’s been that way for months, actually…

Your friend Avery always tells me, “My Mommy picks me up today.”

Jaedyn always describes what she’s drawing and shows it to me.

Ethan immediately hugs my leg, like I’m his actually Daddy.

And when I see you, you always run to me and I lift you up to the air like you’re a rocket.

So looking back, I guess you and I do make a scene each day when I pick you up.

Ultimately, I guess that makes me a “nice Daddy.”

(Coincidently, I happened to meet Lucy’s Mommy, Autumn, this week for the first time; I took some pictures of you and Lucy playing together.)

I can honestly say I’ve never considered my reputation as a “nice Daddy” among your peers. I guess I’ve just always subconsciously assumed that their dads act the same way when they pick them up each day.

And that’s still what I assume. I assume all your friends’ fathers treat them the same way as I treat you.

How could they not?

Being a good father (and husband) are the roles in life I take the most seriously.

My understanding is that fatherhood is the one of the main forms of identity and self-realization for the modern American man.

Doesn’t every man think the same way as I do? The dads I know all do, at least.

My guy friends are all “nice Daddies.”

In fact, I bet a lot of them are actually nicer than I am.