Dear Jack: Our 1st Time Driving Our Jeep to Your Soccer Game

8 and a half years old.

Dear Jack,

Just in time for you to turn 8 and a half years old, and before your spring soccer season came to an end, we were able to drive our Jeep to one of your games.

Our Jeep has the ability for just the front half of the top to come off (as well as the whole thing). Your game was during a 3 day stretch where I just left off the “Freedom Panels” the entire time; even when I left the Jeep in the parking lot at work.

Needless to say, we all enjoyed our drive to your soccer game.

You don’t have a soccer dad. You have a Jeep dad!

And that’s good for you, because you get to be a Jeep son.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: You Scored Your 1st Goal in a Soccer Game!

6 years, 11 months.

Dear Jack,

It had been over two years since your Aunt Dana, Uncle Andrew, and cousins Calla and Darla had seen you play soccer. Things were a lot different back then, as you would just stand there and look down at the grass.

But this time around, they got to see a whole new you. They got to see an almost 7 year-old boy who actually cared about chasing and kicking the ball.

Mommy and I immediately noticed how, especially during this game, you were on fire! And you made it seem effortless.

I had the perfect seat in the grass as I watched you go foot-to-foot with a girl from the opposing team, who was nearly close enough to kick the ball in her goal. I yelled out, “Chase her, Jack! Chase her!”

And you did.

Then you got the ball…

You managed to zig and zag to the other side of the field, as you kicked the ball along. Finally, you were in the perfect position to kick the ball in the goal.

And you did!

I was so proud of you. I yelled so loud. It was such a big deal.

You acted like it wasn’t.

After the game, you walked your cousin Darla back to the parking lot, where the shiny 2017 Lexus IS 350 had undeniably gotten a bit dusty from the soccer field.

On the way back to the house, Mommy had to run in the grocery store to pick up a few things to make vegan tacos for dinner. I stayed in the Lexus with you and your sister. After we found a place to park, you took it upon yourself to read to your sister from your Pokemon book.

Your plan to appease her while Mommy was inside the store worked. I was grateful. You are growing up!

It was a very special Saturday morning. I couldn’t have been any more proud of you.

Love,

Daddy

Our Family’s 2017 “Pumpkin Spice” Lexus IS 350 for This Week

Autumn is here- and everyone knows it’s the best season of the year. The welcomed change in weather and accompanying outdoor activities are undoubtedly enhanced by making everything “pumpkin spice.” Because when anything is pumpkin spice, it is understood it is automatically better.

And if that’s the case, then our family’s mode of transportation this week has definitely been pumpkin spiced.  (Is that an official verb now? If not, I’m helping to legitimize it as one.)

Our family gets to drive a 2017 Lexus IS 350 this week; as we tackle some fun fall activities.

This weekend, my sister and her family will be driving up from Alabama to visit. We will all be heading to Gentry’s Farm & Pumpkin Patch, where there will be plenty of great activities for the total of 4 kids; including a hay ride and a corn maze.

Afterwards, we will be making our way to our son’s soccer game. This will make my sister’s family’s first time to be able to see him play.

The day I brought home the Lexus IS 350, the kids loved checking it out in the driveway. My wife exclaimed, “Whoa! This is a really sporty car!” My son declared, “I love it when your cars have windows in the ceiling!” As for our daughter, she was convinced she was actually driving; especially when she successfully turned on the hazard lights.

After the big reveal of the Lexus IS 350 to my family, it was time to take my son to soccer practice. While it almost felt wrong to take just a nice and shiny luxury car to a dusty soccer field, I reminded myself: Live this up- make the most of your pumpkin spice ride while you have it this week.

There is no doubt we will be making the most of my sister’s family’s visit to Spring Hill, Tennessee.

And during it all, my family of 4 will be able to travel in luxury, with our Lexus IS 350. I have noticed that with every vehicle we get to model here on my blog, my wife’s favorite feature is always the heated seats; and now just in time for the slight chill of autumn.

I suppose it goes without saying, I think there’s a pretty good chance that one of the upcoming activities in the Lexus IS 350 will be going out somewhere nice for coffee…

Pumpkin Spice, of course!

Dear Jack: Your 1st Soccer Game as the Goalie

6 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack,

Last Tuesday evening as we were leaving your soccer practice, I heard your coach confirm to you, “Alright Jack, I’m putting you in as goalie for Saturday’s game. You know what to do, right?”

You were humbly thrilled to know that you would finally get to be the goalie. Honestly, I had no idea you were interested in playing that position. But it turns out that you were interested enough that you proactively asked your coach if you could play goalie.

I had noticed during practice that you were playing goalie, but I figured it was just standard for the coach to give turns to all the players. But no, you had specifically asked him.

Of all weekends for Nonna and Papa to be in town from Alabama, this past Saturday was it. They got to see you play your newest position. You loved being goalie!

I was particularly also impressed by the fact when you weren’t playing goalie during the game, there were two different times in which you led the ball down the field towards the goal.

It’s so cool being able to see how you truly enjoy playing soccer and being a part of your team.

Of course, it helps that you and your best friend Duncan are on the same team, the Red Wolves. The two of you have literally been friends since the womb, as our families were in Lamaze class together back in the fall of 2010.

Soccer is a really good thing for you. Not only does it help you burn off plenty of energy, but I can see the way it undeniably builds confidence in you. And I appreciate how it teaches you the importance of playing as part of a team.

You were an only child for so long, so being a star runner and occasionally goalie on the Red Wolves is a great thing for you!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: Practicing Your Soccer Moves on the Field, During Your Brother’s Game

1 year, 5 months.

Dear Holly,

This past Saturday was a very special soccer game for your brother, as not only did he get to play as goalie for the first time, but also, Nonna and Papa were in town from Alabama to see it as well.

We all sat right there on the edge of the field near the goal, nearly as close as we could without being on the field. You loved being able to walk from Mommy, to me, to Nonna, and to Papa.

And then you saw your brother’s red soccer ball that he had brought with him.

The smile on your face seemed to translate as, “Well if Jack can do this, so can I. How hard could it be?”

So you began kicking the ball over the line, onto the very edge of the field. As one of us adults would then move the ball off the field, you would sure enough find your way back in the game.

Fortunately, each time this occurred, all the players actually playing the game happened to be on the other side of the field.

I think it’s safe to say that you are finding your brother’s soccer games to be pretty fascinating. So while I could easily see you getting into dance classes when you get older, it already makes perfect sense to me that would also play soccer.

And based on the way I’ve seen you kick the ball back to me in our living room and on the back porch, I have to say… you actually have some kicking skills!

I suppose for the last few soccer games this season, you will continue practicing your soccer moves during Jack’s games. Give it a few more years, and that’ll be you out there on the field!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Your 1st Soccer Game as a 1st Grader

6 years, 9 months.

Dear Jack,

Now that the summer has come to an end, so have violin lessons. And you decided you wanted to go straight into playing soccer now that the school year has begun.  It helps that you and your best friend Duncan, from your Kindergarten class last year, were able to get on the same soccer team.

So this past Saturday, our family drove out to the YMCA field in Spring Hill and watched you place your first game. It was amazing to see the difference, compared to when you played soccer 2 years ago in Pre-K.

You actually chase and kick the ball now! Wow!

And not just you, but all the other kids actually play the game too. Two years ago, it wasn’t this way at all. Back then, it was just a bunch of almost 5 year-olds standing on the field, looking at the feet in the grass.

But now, there’s actually something for your parents to watch you and your teammates do!

You actually gave Mommy and me a reason to keep yelling, “Go Jack! Kick it!” I felt like a legitimate soccer dad.

This was your sister Holly’s first time getting to see a soccer game. Since her skin is so fair, and since there was no shade, Mommy had me stand up and block the sun, casting a shadow on Holly as she watched the game from Mommy’s chair.

I definitely saw a little bit of irony in that; as if I were a big guy, which I am not. Oh well, the plan worked anyway. By the end of the game, your sister wasn’t quite as pink she would have been otherwise.

We enjoyed watching you play your first soccer game as a 1st grader.

Plus, I love the fact you’re getting to not only burn off all that energy you have on Saturday mornings, but also you’re getting to use your brain.

The game is pretty simple, though; for a bunch of 1st graders. Really, the main thing is just knowing which way to kick the ball. That’s all you really have to worry about right now.

Love,

Daddy

 

Dear Jack: Your New Cross Necklace, Mustache, And 2nd Soccer Game

4 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack: Your New Cross Necklace, Mustache, And 2nd Soccer Game

Dear Jack,

Last Sunday in your Sunday School class, your teacher gave you and all the other kids a cross necklace. Needless to say, you were very serious about wearing it to preschool each day this week; nearly treating it with as much humanity as you do your stuffed animals.

Each day during your nap at school, I learned that you carefully placed your necklace in your cubby to keep it safe while you slept. You also explained to me how “the babies” in the younger class tried to take the necklace from you when they saw it.

You are seriously proud of that necklace!

Dear Jack: Your New Cross Necklace, Mustache, And 2nd Soccer Game

Apparently there was some kind of “Mustache Day” at school yesterday, because you came home with a big decorative one. Mommy insisted you try it on for a picture. You easily agreed. It fit you very well.

This morning as I was getting you dressed for school, you showed me how you stuck the mustache on the closet door so the door could have a mustache.

Dear Jack: Your New Cross Necklace, Mustache, And 2nd Soccer Game

You have now had your 2nd soccer game. You didn’t try even once to walk off the field early before the game ended.

The main goal at this point is still to get you to at least following the ball around with the rest of the kids.

This coming weekend will be a lot of fun for you as Nonna and Papa are driving up to see our new house for the first time since early February when they helped us move in.

Dear Jack: Your New Cross Necklace, Mustache, And 2nd Soccer Game

Mommy and I are going out Saturday afternoon and night for my 34th birthday; which is actually next Monday.

So you’ll get to just hang out with them while Mommy and I go to the symphony, movies, and dinner in downtown Nashville.

I won’t be surprised if you wear both your cross necklace and mustache for them!

Love,

Daddy