Dear Holly: The Case of the Missing Teddy!

7 years, 1 month.

Dear Holly,

Last Friday night, your brother went to the rodeo with one of his friends. He thought of you while he was there and picked up a free swag (“stuff we all get”) teddy bear for you.

You were so happy to see such a surprise the next morning when you found it. All of Saturday, you carried it with you wherever we went.

That afternoon, we went to my coworker Lori’s going-away party for her foreign exchange student. Lori immediately asked you, “Oh, Holly- what’s your teddy bear’s name?”

You proudly responded with a big smile, “Henry.”

That night, as Mommy was tucking you in to bed, a panic occured: You couldn’t find Henry!

Over the next couple of days, as a family, we searched everywhere. I went back to the restaurant where we all collectively remember seeing it last, at the going-away party.

I spoke with the restaurant manager myself, but he confirmed they didn’t find a teddy bear, and if they did, they would have placed it up front at the cash register.

After days had passed, we were all just about ready to give up on the search, though the consensus was, “But it has to be somewhere in the house…”

Sure enough, on Wednesday morning, you shouted with joy, “Daddy! Today’s the day! I found Henry! He was in my pillow case the entire time!’




Dear Jack: You Were the Man of the House While I Was Gone in Florida

7 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack,

I just now realized that while I was in Florida working on promoting Toyota, you were the man of the house back home in Tennessee. Granted, you were school most of the time, as it was Monday through Thursday that I was gone; but still, you were only male at the house with Mommy, Nonna, and your sister.

As usual, you did a great job taking care of your sister while I was gone. You let her borrow your Monkey, named Bobby. I know that meant a lot to her.

You also decided to sharpen up your skateboarding skills in the driveway; which I am very proud to see.

Fortunately, my plane landed back in Nashville just in time for me to make it home in time to see your 1st grade musical. Though it could have been a coincidence, it’s possible you were placed right in the middle of the stage because you knew the songs and motions so well.

Once we got back to the house, it was nearly like Christmas as I let you and your sister open your presents, I mean, unpack my Toyota swag.

While I’m sure I’ll be breaking in my personalized Braves’ jersey with our last name Shell on the back, eventually it will be yours; once it fits you well enough to at least become a shirt for you to sleep in.

I also especially thought of you for what I call the “accordion” cup, that stretches out if you want to fill it with more snacks.

It’s funny for me to take a moment to consider how somewhat unusual it is for you to be accustomed to me going on these “business trips” and bringing you back swag souvenirs. But it’s not like I sell insurance or medical supplies. I simply am a daddy blogger.

I don’t suppose most of your friends can relate to having a Toyota beach towel or a stick of Toyota chap stick. Oh well, you do!