Monday, November 28, 2016

I'm looking in the mirror - you look like me

Dear JJ,

It is uncanny.  I look at you and I see me, 53 years ago.  I look at your face, your smile and I remember seeing me, in a mirror, when I was six years old. 

I feel as if a younger self time traveled here. 

So what can I tell my younger six? Be a good boy, play with everyone, and it will be hard to keep quiet in school and fold your hands - but you will be rewarded for it (took me a while to learn that too)

Love, 

Dad

Your photo this morning





Me when I was six

Monday, October 3, 2016

Wait- You're Six?

I still love our weekly milkshakes!

School Uniform - ready for Kindergarten
Dear JJ,

It hit me the other day as I was going through my computer and you were asking for some attention. You are six. Already you are six. Not five, you are in Kindergarten, and I was looking at my computer instead of spending time with you.

It is so easy to do - so easy to do something else besides be with you.

Here is the thing: whatever I was looking at, some quip on social media or some interaction with someone I have never met - I have so much time with you.  Social media is fine- I have real life here.

So much has happened - so I've put it in pictures.

I love you son,

Dad
Every Thursday is still Daddy's Day when I get to bring you to school. Here you are waiting in the cafeteria with your class

Pretty handsome with your backpack

We get to spend time with my dad - here was his 92nd birthday. You wanted to help him blow out the candle

Mom may have dementia, but she knows who you are

You bring joy to my parents - every time.

School requires a haircut- your mom was watching to make sure it wasn't cut too close.  More traumatic for her
You say you love Halloween, but were pretty afraid to stand by this guy - so we brought him  home. You love to scare mom.
Post haircut - you look pretty sharp!






Monday, August 1, 2016

Six Years Old

Six years old!
Collecting bugs

Getting photographs just to be with dad - photographing spiders of course
I was the first to hold your hand

And I love every time I get to hold it 
Dear JJ,
Six years old!

I love that at six years old you still like to hold your daddy's hand. 

I don't fear that you will grow up, I look forward to seeing the kind of person you will become. 

But I do cherish these times - because I know they happen once. 

I love you son.

Love,
Dad

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Time Is Passing - Bedtime Rituals

Dear JJ,

Last night you crawled into our bed, you had a bad dream and we were happy to see you.  I realized that the time will come when you won't come into our bed, that our little boy won't be little anymore.

When you were a little baby I never liked the "cry it out," idea. Reports have come out and say that children who are left in their bed to cry it out and self-soothe do just fine as adults.  But I couldn't do that. I wanted to be there to comfort you, to let you I was there.

That led to me putting you to bed at about 7 pm, usually falling asleep with you, then sneaking out to spend time with your mom. Then sometime about 930 you finding your way to our bed - as you call it "the family bed."

There are downsides - sometimes I think in the middle of the night you dream you are a helicopter as your hands and legs whack your mom and I. Some nights your mom or I go back to your bedroom just to get some sleep.

But, your mom and I realize at some point that won't happen anymore. That you will be just fine in your own bed.  I joke that someday you will tell us, "Mom and dad it is time you get your own room."

That time is coming. But until then, one of the joys of a father is to comfort a little boy who hears noises in the middle of the night.  I won't forget these times, and will miss them.

I still remember my dad coming in to say goodnight to me, laying down and falling asleep in my bed. I would wake him up and he would always say, "Oh, I fell asleep," and off he would go to join mom. I hope you remember the times you got into the family bed - and the comfort there.

It's ok to grow up son. Just don't worry if you see my eyes water from time to time.

Love,

Dad


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Breakfast The Best Meal Of The Day

"Egg in a hole in it." - JJ

Dear JJ,

This morning as I wake up and you and your mom are out of town I realize that how much I miss my sous chef in the kitchen. 

The hardest part about when we travel is when we don't have a kitchen that we can make our morning breakfast.

I don't believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but cooking with you makes it the best meal of the day.

Love,

Dad

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Mother's Day and Recitals

Bringing flowers to Grandma Simpson
Dear JJ,

Mother's Day was bitter sweet.  It is wonderful having my mom here, but it is difficult to see her slip into dementia. Thankfully she is still happy to see us and knows who we are.

I couldn't be more proud of you when we were going to the grocery store and you wanted to buy flowers, and pick them out, for both my mom and yours.

I love Mother's Day because without you there would be no Mother's Day for us. You have made our life sweet, son - and mother's day and father's day are all about how thankful we are that you made us parents.

Then we got to see you play.

I think this is my favorite time. But then again, I say that every age.

Love,

Dad

We needed to make cookies

It all started here


Your first public performance

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Sparky

You've played with this doggie since you were six weeks 
Grandma enjoying some time with her grandson and Sparky
Dear JJ,

Sparky died the other day, and it made you sad. The little dog had lived 14 years as grandma's favorite companion.

He first sniffed you when you were six weeks old, after your first trip on an airplane.

When we would go to see grandma and grandpa you would sit on the floor, wait for him to come to you, and play.

He was grandma's companion, and even as she sinks into dementia she misses Sparky.

As a little boy you are seeing dementia and death. Your answer was to want to get flowers.  Two sets, one for grandma and one for us- because we all miss Sparky.

Sometimes you amaze me,

Love,

Dad