Dear Jack: House Arrest Summer Camp

9 years, 7 months.

Dear Jack,

Every previous summer of your life, I felt a bit guilty that you had to spend 5 days a week at a summer enrichment program, as opposed to hanging out at the house like I did during my summers as a kid.

Now, thanks to Covid Culture, your only option is to hang out at the house with Mommy and me; as we spend all day working from home.

It’s almost like trading one parental guilt for another.

I feel bad that I can’t spend quality time with you during the day, even though you are right there in the next room.

But we are making it work.

You are especially good at keeping me posted on your newest self-assigned Lego project; as our living room is currently an ocean of Lego blocks.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: Why I Call You “Squeaky”

4 years, 2 months.

Dear Holly,

Ever since you started really talking, and especially now to the point you are actually chatty, the name I have called you has been “Squeaky”.

You have a soft, sweet little voice, that often sounds sad for no reason.

Any time you tell a story, you often begin with, “Yeah, p’cause…” as if it needs some melancholy explanation.

You make things sound so sad even though they are not actually sad at all.

So to me, the naturally name for you is Squeaky.

Anytime you call out to me to tell me something, with “Daddy…”

I instantly respond with, “Yes, Squeaky?”

That has become the norm for us.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: I Wrote a Song about You This Week- “That Boy’s Been Growing Up on Me”

9 years, 7 months.

Dear Jack,

This week has been unexpectedly emotional for me. You’ve been away on vacation in Florida with Nonna and Papa, as well as Aunt Dana and Uncle Andrew, and your cousins.

I didn’t expect to miss you so much. After all, you’re like 9 year and a half years old now. You’re not a little boy anymore.

And that’s exactly why it hit me so hard…

While I couldn’t possibly be prouder of the boy you’ve become, I’ve been coming to terms with the fact that those days of you being a little boy are gone.

For the past 4 days, I have been journaling my thoughts and feelings through a song I have been writing; so that I myself can better understand what I am going through right now.

Today, I was finally able to record the song; one of the few times I was able to do so without crying.

And when I say crying, I mean bawling.

It helped when your Aunt Dana told me today that you are currently taking a break from swimming in the ocean to watch WWE Wrestling.

You don’t treat your stuffed animals like they are real anymore, but you still believe WWE Wrestling is real. I can settle for that. You’re not fully grown up yet.

I love you, Jack.

That boy’s been growing up, that boy’s been growing up on me

He shouldn’t be enough, he shouldn’t be old enough

It doesn’t seem, it doesn’t seem

Those Hot Wheels have all raced away

Like the friends of Thomas the Train

And now I’m missing that boy who went with them

He’s growing up

Those stuffed animals all used to be real

But they’re starting to all disappear

And now my baby boy, first born bundle of joy, is growing up on me

That boy’s a part of me, that boy’s a part of me

My son is growing up

Holding on to memories, never letting go of these

My son is growing up

It takes so much for me to ever cry these days

So it’s funny how these words are drenched in tears

A father’s love for his only son is all it takes

To get me here

And now I’m here

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: You Need Me in Your Life and I Know It

4 years, 1 month.

Dear Holly,

You and I have a special “father and daughter” bond. It’s undeniable.

By nature, I am not a needy person. I don’t “need” people to “like” me to feel good about myself. Otherwise I would be like Michael Scott or Andy Bernard on The Office.

I can accept that the world doesn’t revolve around me.

But I will admit- you have an effortless way of making me feel wanted and needed.

It’s in subtle ways, like when you come home from school everyday, you immediately run to my “office” at the kitchen table and yell “Daddy!” before engaging in a monologue about whatever accidentally hilarious story you have to tell me about school that day.

You make it too easy to love you! Way too easy.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: What a Weird Summer! Do We Stop Caring About COVID-19 Now?

9 years, 7 months.

Dear Jack,

What a weird summer.

The “Post COVID Summer”- I guess? Now that we’re half way through June, it feels like the general reaction is that people are caring less about the pandemic; based on the news channels changing their focus on the next topic they want us to freak out about…

We’ve already traveled as a family to Florida this summer, and you get to go again next week with Nonna and Papa; so you are definitely having a vacation of a summer.

But at the same time, we just learned that as of today, your week of summer camp just got cancelled due to the owner of the camp getting COVID.

So yeah, it’s a weird summer. I don’t know what to believe.

But ultimately, I’m doing my best to help you have a good time and feel like a pre-4th grader! After all, you’re already spending much of your summer locked up in our house, as Mommy works from home upstairs, while I occupy the downstairs working from the kitchen table.

What a weird summer!

Love,

Daddy