Dear Jack: Teaching Your Sister to Shoot a Bow and Arrow

9 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack,

Because of your continued interested in learning how to shoot a bow and arrow, we have now set up a target range in our backyard.

Mommy and I recently made a small investment in getting you and me our own “professional practice bows” to train on.

That means you donated your Nerf bow and arrow to your sister.

You even gave her a free lesson.

Granted, she stood a lot closer to the target than you and I stand when we shoot arrows at the target.

It was about a year ago that you first showed interested in archery.

I’m glad to see we are able to make this a reality for you.



Dear Jack: We Now Have a Shooting Range in Our Living Room

9 years, 2 months.

Dear Jack,

Ever since your birthday, which was exactly 2 months ago, your Nerf gun collection has been growing. You now have 3 rifles, one crossbow, and one bow-and-arrow set.

In other words, there are plenty of darts to be shot in our house.

Thanks to the free cardboard blocks to that donated to us this week, we now officially have a shooting range in our living room.

Honestly, I have to say- it doesn’t bother me at all. I would much rather you shoot your weapons on a disposable yet sturdy target, as opposed to your sister.



Dear Jack: That Time You Secretly Decided to Be a Nerf Sniper at Zeke’s Birthday Party

6 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

Last Saturday afternoon, our family attended your classmate’s 6th birthday party at his family’s house. Mommy and I held Holly, while we sat on the covered back porch, along with the other parents.

Pretty early on into the party, Zeke’s dad brought out the Nerf mini dart guns for all the kids to run around in the back yard and shoot each other, while all the adults casually watched the chaos.

After a few minutes of the 6 year-old version of the Hunger Games taking place, I looked up from holding your sister’s hand as she walked along the patio furniture, and saw you quietly standing there on the outside of the guard rail, appearing to take aim.

I was right.

Because then, I saw you pull the trigger, hitting one of your friends in the chest as he ran across the yard. He had no idea he had been hit by the Nerf Sniper.

Then I muttered to you, “Jack, are you standing up there and shooting them without them knowing what you’re doing?”

You smiled so sneakily and shook your head, yes.

Obviously, I was proud of you. After all, it was a free-for-all. There were no rules. No one said you had to stay down in the line of fire and get shot like everyone else.

Good for you, assuming the role of the sniper.

Your idea of fun wasn’t running around, laughing with your friends. Instead, your idea of fun was winning. This was not a game at a birthday party. This was war.

By the time the others figured out what you were doing, it was time to go inside for pizza and cake.

I imagine a few years from now when your friends start having laser tag birthday parties, you’re definitely going to have an advantage.



Dear Jack: Our “Skate-and-Shoot” Game in the Cul-de-Sac/Leaving for Spring Break

6 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

This past weekend while Nonna and Papa were staying with us, they were able to catch a glimpse of a game we recently invented, where I ride my skateboard down the cul-de-sac and you shoot me from our driveway, using your Nerf dart gun. I call our game “shoot-and-skate”.

The chamber of your Nerf gun holds 3 darts at a time. You’re such a good shot that normally, I feel about 2 stings every time I skate past you. I am very impressed with your shooting skills.

I love the challenge of having to not only skate downhill, but also avoid very fast travelling Nerf darts… without crashing.

Afterwards, you and Papa went hunting for arrowheads in the woods, as Nonna carried your sister. She loved the hike as much as you did. However, no American Indian artifacts were found this time around.

When we got back inside, you decided to demonstrate your creative artistic skills by creating a mask of a Siberian Tiger. Your sister amazingly wasn’t afraid of you when you wore it.

Nonna and Papa took you back to Alabama with them when they left on Sunday, as this week is your Spring Break.

I know you’re having so much fun right now, but Mommy and I definitely miss you. It is noticeably much quieter without you in the house. And of course, your sister misses you too.

Yesterday I watched her crawl up to the bottom of the refrigerator where your picture is hanging, and she tried to grab you out of it.

Yeah, she misses you.

Nonna is doing a great job of sending me pictures from her phone, showing all the fun you’re having on Spring Break in Alabama.

I want you to keep having fun, enjoying your time off from school.

But we will be really happy to have you back at our house, even if the noise level increases greatly.



Dear Jack: Mother’s Day 2015/Adirondack Chairs

4 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack: Mother's Day 2015

Dear Jack,

This year for Mother’s Day, Mommy decided she wanted a new ceramic cup for her coffee she makes each morning, some Adirondack chairs for our porch, and quality time as a family.

So that’s exactly what we made happen this weekend.

We started off with your next-to-the-last soccer game of the season…

Dear Jack: Mother's Day 2015

Then we had a fun lunch at Whole Foods, where they were having a special promotion in which 100% of the proceeds went to benefit the victims of Nepal; since their recent earthquake.

Mommy and I really enjoyed our vegan hot dogs the workers grilled for us!

Dear Jack: Mother's Day 2015

After your nap back at the house, you and I practiced our shooting into the lot across their street where they are building one of the last houses of our immediate neighborhood.

Dear Jack: Mother's Day 2015

Then, we all just hung out on the front porch. Mommy and I enjoyed the new Adirondack chairs, while you were perfectly content to play in your newly purchased (with your birthday money from last November) sand box.

So it sounds like Mommy got just what she wanted for Mother’s Day this year.

Not to mention, you and I made this little video for her…