Dear Jack: You Graduated Pre-K!

5 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack: You Graduated Pre-K!

Dear Jack,

This past week, our family came to Rainbow Child Care Center to see you graduate Pre-K. It was a proud day for Mommy and me. I caught her holding back the tears as your name was called.

Ms. Destiny told a little bit about each Pre-K graduate. She announced to everyone that you want to become a paleontologist when you grow up.

I wouldn’t be surprised if you did. You love dinosaurs! We’ve now watched both Jurassic World and Jurassic Park together. I had wondered if certain parts of those movies would scare you.

Dear Jack: You Graduated Pre-K!

Instead, you joyfully blurted out the correct name of every dinosaur that popped up on the screen, even if you could barely see one in a shadowy corner. You were naming dinosaurs I didn’t even know existed!

You definitely weren’t scared. Instead, you were fascinated by what you saw in the movie.

In a perfect world, Mommy and I wouldn’t both have to work full time. However, one of the benefits of you sort of “growing up” in preschool is that you are now more psychologically, socially, and intellectually developed than I was by age 5 and a half.

Dear Jack: You Graduated Pre-K!

You probably know more than now than I did when I was 7 or 8.

I love your humble confidence in yourself. I love you willingness to try new adventures. I love how you are an individual.

Dear Jack: You Graduated Pre-K!

Seeing you graduate Pre-K gave me a glimpse of the boy will be in years to come. I undeniably get satisfaction as a parent knowing I have so far raised an intelligent, creative, well-behaved boy.

In just a couple of months, you’ll be starting Kindergarten. I’m not going to say the cliche thing: “I can’t believe you’re already going to be in Kindergarten.”

I can believe it.

Dear Jack: You Graduated Pre-K!

For these past 5 and a half years of your life, I have faithfully documented your life each week in my letters to you. I have watched you mature.

You’re ready for it. You’re ready for Kindergarten now.

 Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: You Graduated Pre-K!

Dear Jack: Pandy’s Birthday is Today, Blue Cheetie’s Is on Kwanzaa, and Ellie’s is on Christmas (But No One on Hannukah)

5 years.

Dear Jack: Pandy’s Birthday is Today, Blue Cheetie’s Is on Kwanzaa, and Ellie’s is on Christmas

Dear Jack,

Last night as we were finishing up dinner, you stated that you wanted to work on a paper hat for your stuffed Panda bear, Pandy.

I explained that you might not have enough time to really get started on that, as it soon would be time to go upstairs and get ready for bed.

Immediately, out of nowhere, you began crying, “But Pandy’s birthday is tomorrow!”

I had to turn my head to keep you from letting you see me laugh; Mommy too.

Somehow I had not been informed that Pandy’s birthday was coming up. Therefore, I gladly let you work on Pandy’s birthday party decorations. From there, you explained to me that also, Blue Cheetie’s birthday is on Kwanzaa, and Ellie’s is the day before, on Christmas day.

Dear Jack: Pandy’s Birthday is Today, Blue Cheetie’s Is on Kwanzaa, and Ellie’s is on Christmas

Shortly after, I learned that this week at your Pre-K, Rainbow Childcare Center, you have been learning all about the tradition religious and cultural holidays of this month.

You quickly explained to Mommy that Hannukah has 8 days of celebration and Kwanzaa has 7 days.

Obviously, you’ve been paying attention at school; so much so that you are incorporating it into your playtime at home.

Though apparently, none of your stuffed animals’ birthdays happen to be on Hannukah. I was really hoping to see you make a menorah out of paper. Maybe next year.

It’s such a coincidence that their birthdays all happen to be on special days like all these you learned about at school. But I suppose it’s similar to the way that your baby sister, Holly, is due right around my 35th birthday; on April 20th, 2016.

My favorite part of this story is that Pandy is turning 2 today, yet you’ve had her for over 4 years now. I guess in Panda years, a year takes twice as long.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

4 years, 9 months.

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

Dear Jack,

For this past week our family was given a 2015 Toyota Avalon XLE Touring Sport Edition to review as a family.

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

With us having just got back to Tennessee from our annual family vacation in Sacramento, where we reviewed a 2015 Toyota Camry, we decided to lay low this week.

Yet still, Saturday we managed to travel to midtown Nashville to visit the all new Baby+Co.; a spa-like place to give birth, sans the epidural.

Baby+Co. 10 FAQs & Walk Around Video (Nashville Location)

Then on Sunday we decided to trek to Franklin to see the iconic Natchez Parkway Bridge. You nor Mommy had ever been there; whereas I had last summer when I reviewed the 2015 Lexus NX.

While I had the camera rolling as you used the parking lot curb as a balance beam, you stopped in your tracks as you discovered a butterfly that had breathed its final breath.

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

You were inspired to give it a proper (yet impromptu) funeral, so we did.

As we were getting ready to leave, after taking some family pictures, you were concerned:

“Where is the food? I thought there were nachos?”

I explained that the name of the place we were at was “Natchez”, not nachos.

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

We are a family who essentially never goes out to eat; not only because we are vegan/vegetarian and our options are extremely limited, but also because we are Dave Ramsey followers and it’s difficult to justify weekly restaurant money when it could be going to our “new car” fund.

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

However, you apparently caught Mommy and me at the perfect moment, because on the drive home Mommy discretely asked me, “Is there somewhere on the way home we might want to stop for lunch?”

Granted, I was happy to oblige; it would save me from dish duty.

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

We saw a Chili’s coming up on the right. Mommy told me that she recently went to a Chili’s with Grandma and your Aunt Jenny while we were on vacation, and she was surprised how accommodating they were to her vegetarian lifestyle.

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So we turned into the Chili’s parking lot. They were so accommodating to my vegan and your and Mommy’s vegetarian requirements, that they actually had a whole page for “dietary restrictions” on their kiosk on the table.

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

I’ll keep that in mind the next time we’re on a road trip…

Of course, I made a fun video about all this so you could see it all; along with my super catch jingle I made up, “Come along, in an Avalon…”

You and I also made a walk around video for the Avalon…

And of course I made a video for your 1st day of Pre-K, which also featured the car as well…

So it looks like even on a “lay low” week, we still managed to have a lot of fun!

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

Dear Jack: Your 1st Day of Pre-K at Rainbow Child Care Center

4 years, 9 months.

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Dear Jack,

Last week while our family was on vacation in California, your preschool Rainbow Child Care Center opened its new Pre-K classroom.

So this Tuesday was your first day of Pre-K. I put together this little 90 second video from that morning as I dropped you off.

As you can see from the video, we have a 2015 Toyota Avalon this week which I am reviewing, so I decided to include it in the video. After all, the fancy car ride there was a big part of your 1st day of Pre-K.

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I mentioned a few weeks ago that I don’t feel that you’re growing up way too fast. Instead, I feel you’re growing up at the right speed.

It makes sense it my head that you’re nearly 5 years old and are just a year away from staring Kindergarten. And I think you feel the same way. You seem proud to be big boy.

Speaking of your new Pre-K classroom, here’s the video you and I made together a few weeks about it:

When we came back from California this week and checked the mail, you had received your prize money from winning 2nd place in the Williamson County Fair Lego Competition.

Dear Jack: You Won 2nd Place in the County Lego Competition!

Mommy took you to go spend your $20 earnings. You purchased a $15 toy: the Hot Wheels Snap Rides Truck and Trailer.

It’s something you’ve been talking about for weeks. You love getting to build your own vehicles.

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This whole time I thought you would end up spending your prize money on more Legos, but it also makes sense that you’d buy cars you can build as well.

As we get settled back in from vacation this week, I’ll be working on several more videos and pictures from California.

We had a lot of fun! I can’t wait to share!

Love,

Daddy

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Dear Jack: You’re Starting Pre-K Next Week

4 years, 9 months.

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Dear Jack,

Our family recently attended the Rainbow Summer Social at Rainbow Child Care Center. They had a fire truck for us to tour; as well as a photo booth and carnival games.

You were very happy that you basically had unlimited access to just keep playing the same games and to have the ability to keep winning prizes.

Dear Jack: You’re Starting Pre-K Next Week

A collection of sticky rubber frogs made their way back to our house.

Next week you officially begin Pre-K. You and I, along with your current teacher Ms. Aimee, recently made a Jack-Man episode to promote the brand-new Pre-K classroom.

(Click the image below to watch our video.)

You’ve expressed to me that you’re particularly excited about your new classroom because, “it has really cool dinosaurs.”

Jack, this is your last year of preschool before I begin taking you to Kindergarten! A year from now, I’m sure I’ll be posting my (obligatory) “1st Day of Kindergarten” picture on Facebook.

Dear Jack: You’re Starting Pre-K Next Week

Mommy and I keep saying how you really are a boy now.

As your parents, we’ve grown accustomed to living with a boy version of a toddler. Now, with you nearly 5 years old, we’re living with a boy; not simply just a boy version of something.

These are the days of you getting to pick out which underwear to wear each day. You get to decide whether it’s going to be a Transformers or a Ninja Turtles kind of day.

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I look at your genetically unlikely blonde highlights as well as your genetically unlikely blue eyes and think, “This kid used to be my baby. But now, this is my boy.”

Though I might be saying this too much here lately, I’m just so proud that you are my son.

The future is unclear whether or not Mommy and I will ever have another child.

You may be it. Either way, you are one special kid.

Love,

Daddy