Dear Jack: You and Your Sister Secretly Got Each Other Gifts While You Were Apart

10 years, 8 months.

Dear Jack,

Until this past weekend, you hadn’t been in our house for 3 weeks! First, we were in Georgia on vacation, then you spent the next week at Nonna and Papa’s in Alabama, and then last week you were away at CentrKid camp.

When you finally made it back to our house and saw your sister again, you had a special gift prepared for her: A pair of little matching stuffed animals; one for you and one for your sister.

And your sister had saved you some little plastic balloons from her friend’s birthday; that was her surprise gift for you. She even carefully wrapped them up for your to open!

At no point had Mommy and I suggested the two of you get gifts for each other; but to our surprise, you both did!



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!



Dear Holly: You are Glad Your Brother is Back, After He was Gone a Week

3 years, 1 month.

Dear Holly,

This weekend your brother returned after a week of summer camp at Nonna’s and Papa’s in Alabama.

It is true I could tell that while he was gone, you didn’t mind having all the attention from Mommy and Daddy. Somewhat ironically is that you were more independent; being able to play by yourself while Mommy and I worked on dinner.

However, by the end of the week, you started mentioning to me that you wanted to see Jack again.

And he definitely felt the same way about you. The two of you are glad to be back together.




Advantages and Disadvantages of Summer Camps 

If you still can not enjoy the holidays or if you want your children to spend part of the summer season in a fun way and even learning, surely you are considering taking your children to one of the summer camps that exist one of them is Summer Camps Ontario.

In that case, you want to continue reading. Yes, because, next, we will let you know the advantages and disadvantages that these proposals bring. Do you dare to discover them? Take note and you can take a firm and successful decision:

The advantages of summer camps

The first thing you should know is that there are many parents that every year when these dates arrive, they do not hesitate to send their children to a summer camp. They do it because they are clear that this is a really beneficial alternative for the little ones. And it is that they take into account advantages associated with that, such as the following:

  • It is a way for minors to have a great time doing a lot of playful activities.
  • In the same way, we must bear in mind that there are themed camps. With this, we mean that there are languages, cooking, dance, sports … Thanks to that, children have the possibility to have fun while learning about something they like.
  • Needless to say, this type of proposal for the summer season is a great alternative when it comes to getting the little ones to improve their social skills. And the fact that being with other children they did not know will lead them to communicate with those and even to forge a friendship.
  • It is also considered to be a great alternative for your children to begin to develop their independence and autonomy.
  • Of course, another advantage of summer camp is that they get them to learn values as important as teamwork, respect, tolerance or freedom. And it is not only there that they are going to carry out endless group activities, but also, they will be with little ones that they did not know and who can come from different places in the world.
  • Self- esteem is, in the same way, something that is improved in this type of summer proposal. Yes, since with the different competitions and workshops that are organized the minor will realize that he can do things that he did not even imagine.
  • Of course, we must not overlook the fact that summer camps are considered a great alternative for children to learn to give value to their family and home. And it is not only that they will miss them but that in those places they will not have the comforts that will be at home nor will they be given all the whims. That, at the same time, is a way for you to discover that you do not have to have everything to be happy and have fun.

The disadvantages of summer camps

If you do not choose well, the child will have problems adapting

In order for you to make the best decision about whether to take your children to a summer camp or not, you need to discover what are the aspects against it, such as the following:

  • If they are sent by imposition or if you choose one that does not interest them at all, you will not be able to enjoy the advantages stated in the previous section.
  • In the case that they have never been separated from the parents for several days, it may cost them to adapt to the camp and they may be very negative. What’s more, for some it can be a really insufferable period.
  • In the same way, we must know that sending children to a summer proposal like this requires an important expense. And is that, depending on which is chosen, you may have to provide a relevant amount.
  • If the adult is not well informed about the type of camp and does not certify that their children will have everything necessary and will have specialized monitors or greater security, you can fall into the error of choosing an absolutely inappropriate. By this, we mean that you select one that does not meet the minimum requirements for minors to have a great time and be cared for correctly by experienced monitors.

Dear Holly: Your Attempt to Figure Out the Sprinkler in the Backyard (and Why Your Brother Had a Bucket on His Head)

1 year, 3 months.

Dear Holly,

Here we are in the scorching heat of July in Nashville. There’s not much we can do, as a family, outdoors right now. But when Mommy took your brother with her to buy groceries on Saturday morning while you and I stayed home and played, she bought him a $5 sprinkler for our water hose.

The original plan was just for Jack to run through the sprinkler while Mommy supervised outside on the back porch. But after just a few minutes, you began grunting and nodding your head towards the back door.

Translation: “Daddy, aren’t you going to take me outside?”

You didn’t even notice the intense 91 degree weather. You were just fascinated by watching your brother jump through the water.

So Mommy helped you get a closer look, holding you up high to where you wouldn’t really get too wet. That’s when your brother, who assumed his role of entertainer, placed a bucket on top of his head and started dancing around.

I’m trying to imagine how you were processing what was going on, as the 15 month-old little girl you are…

It’s scorching hot. Let’s go outside!

And now big brother is dancing in the water with a bucket on his head.

I assume that this event ultimately gets translated in your brain as “completely normal event.”

That’s something I tend to think about- how everything you see our family do, even if you forget about it an hour later, is ultimately hard-wiring your thought process as to what are the norms of society.

However, I have found that you actually do remember more than I would expect you to. Just little things, like when we were reading a book together that had a picture of a cartoon lizard on it.

I said, “Holly… lizard!” Then I made a silly noise by sticking my tongue out again and again, which sounded like, “bluh-la-buh-la, bluh-la-buh-la…”

A few days later when you pointed to the book for us to read again, you placed your finger on the lizard and immediately made the sound: “Bluh-la-buh-la, bluh-la-buh-la…”

You looked up to me for immediate approval, as you smiled so big, which translated as, “Daddy, that’s the sound I’m supposed to make when I see the lizard, right? Aren’t you proud of me for remembering?”

What’s funny is, I had forgotten I had even made that sound the last time we had read the book. But now, every time we read it, you make that silly lizard noise that I accidentally taught you.