Dear Jack: Catching a Snake, Learning to Ride a Bike and Tie Your Shoes on Your 1st Week of Summer Break

7 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

It only took 24 hours into your first week of summer break, which you’re spending at Nonna and Papa’s, to accomplish the two main goals I had for you to be able to do before you start 2nd grade:

To learn how to ride a bicycle without training wheels and to learn how to tie your shoes.

(Click here to check out the best bikes for kids.)

Papa was the one who taught me to do those same things exactly 30 years ago in the summer of 1988. So I’m not surprised he was able to teach you so quickly.

As for you, though, you had some goals of your own, which you revealed to me before you even left for Alabama:

To catch lots of bugs… and a snake.

Yep. You were able to do those things as well, in your first 24 hours of summer break.

What’s funny is, I don’t exactly know all the details yet, as Nonna is very good about sending lots of pictures. But this weekend when we come pick you up, I’ll get a better understanding of how you and Papa conveniently were able to find and catch a non-poisonous snake.

In addition to the snake, you are also very proud of your pet snail, who you went swimming with in the pool in the backyard.

And even your new pet centipede has been quite exciting for you, as Papa let you use his power drill to make breathing holes in the bucket that you’re using for the centipede’s temporary home.

It’s amazing how much you’re able to accomplish in such a short amount of time when you’re at Nonna and Papa’s house.

I think you’re pretty lucky to have such a perfect place to go for summer camp. The rest of the summer will be hard to beat at this point.

Love,

Daddy

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Dear Jack: You’re Back from Summer Vacation 2017 at Nonna and Papa’s

6 years, 9 months.

Dear Jack,

This has been the longest amount of time that Mommy and I have spent without you; 10 whole days!

Obviously, we called you on video phone at least once a day, thanks to Facebook messenger. That way, CIA members in Hawaii were also able to catch up on all you’ve done while spending your summer vacation in Alabama.

I say that jokingly (?) because Mommy and I went through the trouble of renting some movies from Redbox while you were gone; Snowden being one of them.

Yes, it was much quieter without you in our house for 10 days, but I have to say, it wasn’t as good. Mommy and I are too accustomed to having a 6 year-old expert inform us of little known facts about dinosaurs and Pokemon.

And obviously, your baby sister kept looking for you the whole time. She kept pointing to your pictures on the wall, doing her best to pronounce your name.

But finally, you got back a week ago and now we can get back to the norm. We missed our little boy!

Speaking of Facebook, Nonna was faithful to keep us posted every couple of hours on whatever fun thing that she and Papa were taking you to do. It became obvious quick that you were not simply just hanging out at their house. No, you were on the move!

You went hiking, to a splash pad, to scrap yard, and to see The Emoji Movie; just to name a few!

Of course, you loved being able to spend time playing with your cousins the whole time as well.

And now the summer has officially come to a close. A week ago you started 1st grade!

Yes, you are now our brilliant 1st grader son. First grade is going to be great.

Love,

Daddy