Thursday, July 19, 2012

Happy 2nd JJ

Dear JJ,

Two years old! Some say that time passes by quickly, that in a breeze children grow up - I am so thankful that this hasn't happened.

These last two years have been the best to years of my life.  They have not gone by quickly- because every day I get to spend with you brings me so much joy. When people look back on life, they say it has gone by quickly- but that is just an illusion. The days with you have been filled with joy, and tenderness, and love - and awe at watching this little boy grow.

So happy birthday, JJ.  And thank you.



Always a place for you on my lap

Every morning you steal my coffee

You always reach for more- and hopefully always will

Pondering the wonders of nature

Finding a doggie small enough to walk - this one is from Aunti Kim

Curious about the wine- but not time to steal it

Every morning is our time

And busy days lead to naps

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

JJ Travels

JJ - always ready for the next adventure

Dear JJ,

Today you and your mom come back from Canada- your last trip on a lap. The good news is that you are coming home- and I'm excited to see you and your mom.  Whenever you are away it is always wonderful to have you come home.  The bad news is that when you turn two on Friday the airlines will want you to have your own seat.

We have been lucky, only a few times have we had to pay a bit for you to travel with us, but now you will be getting your own seat - and the hardest part of that isn't the airfare, its that you are getting older. 
Your first trip at 6 weeks
As you can see, you have traveled over 93,000 miles by air.  You've been on three continents: Europe, Asia, and North America, and in six countries: USA, Mexico, Canada, China, England, and France.

So here are a few photos of your travels around the world - starting with your first trip at age six weeks when you flew to Oregon to meet your Grandma and Grandpa.

You have always enjoyed flying - and one of your first words was "jet." So, son, as we start the "two's" with your own airline seat -- here is to our next adventure, whatever place it may be.  Before I met your mom I always liked to travel alone -- now the only way to travel is with family!



Finally Grandma and Grandpa Simpson meet their first grandchild
Your First Birthday party- of course it was on the road in Canada

And even though Grandma was in her 80's she still knew how to hold and sooth a baby
A couple of weeks later we flew to Ohio/Kentucky where Grandpa had a reunion of his WW 2 group
They required a printed ticket for you at Security- here was your first

In Anchorage - from our hotel The Captain Cook

We would go back to see the grandparents often
I finally learned why hotels had ice - to keep the formula cold!
Soon we wouldn't have to help you look out the windows - you'd be able to do it all by yourself
Our first trip we made with GiGi- she wasn't there to calm you, she was there to calm us!
We discovered you liked water in Cabo
As you grew you still liked Grandma

Sometimes in hotels we would have to go to lengths to entertain you- but mostly we love to hear you laugh

I think you are wondering what I am doing in your seat

And you get to meet uncle Ron- and he is wearing the hat he wore as a child that now you wear
And you got to meet one of mom's close friends EJ

In Park City Utah, looking at snow

A day on the slopes always wore you out
You are enjoying this place in Mexico! Oh Lay
Finally standing- one of your first words is "JET"
Always ready for a trip- you like to help us pack

In Oregon we find that not only pools- but water parks are fun for you

In September 2011 you come to your dad's hometown of Ketchikan, Alaska

One of your favorite songs is "Got a whale of a tale to tell you lads." And you saw the whale's tail

As you grow you see more of Anchorage

That is one big teddy bear
You love it when Gigi flies with us
So we had to visit them in China

Grandpa loves taking you for morning walks
Then in May Grandpa Simpson says lets go to France

Checking out British Airways, Seat 1A

In England Dad and I share a pint

And you and mom have to get into the action too
You love dogs - and in Atlanta you get to walk Aunti Kim's dog

Then two weeks later you get to see your favorite Aunt in Canada

Aunti Kim and Uncle Bob taking their favorite for a walk

At the cottage in Canada your favorite food is Grandpa's oatmeal, that you call "MealOat"

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Erick Simpson 1956-2011

Erick, Jimmy, and Ron in 1956
Dear JJ,

Today I learned that my brother died - Erick.

Erick was born severely mentally retarded. So much so that he was institutionalized from about age six months.  He was 15 months older than me.  The difficulty of having such a child was very rough on my parents, and I cannot imagine the heartbreaking decision they made to have him go into an institution.

For a while he was in Oregon, because Alaska didn't have facilities to take care of these children.  Every year we would go to Oregon and visit with him.  To this day I remember playing with him, at my grandparents house in Portland (they gave him a pass).  Erick couldn't communicate, but he enjoyed the company, and was a gentle person.

Eventually Alaska developed the facilities for him, and in the 70's he was moved to Valdez, Alaska where he would spend the rest of his life.  Physically he was short, about 5 foot 1 inch, and he weighed about 110 pounds.  He loved "junk" food, especially ice cream (the genetic trait of a Simpson).  He never required any medication for behavior, was always friendly, enjoyed dancing.

When I was a boy, my older brothers Jimmy and Ron were 6 and 8 years older than me.  So I didn't have someone to play with.  I would remember telling my parents that I wished that Erick was normal so he could be the brother I could play with.  I cannot tell you the many times in my life that I thought that same thought - how I wished he was normal, and what would it be like to have that brother that would be close to me in age.

Apparently Erick did know two words: "Mommy" and "Terry." That he knew my name gives me great pleasure. That I had not seen him in years makes me feel badly, even though he would not have recognized me, known me, or remembered me.

There is only one thing that fills that empty space in my heart- and that is your smile.  I am sorry that there are two uncles you will never meet - -Erick and Jimmy.



Monday, July 16, 2012

Your Travels

Dear JJ,

Before your second birthday you will have gone over 92,000 miles on the lap of your parents.  Your first trip as an infant was to see your Grandma and Grandpa Simpson in Oregon.  Your last trip on our laps has been  to and from your grandparents cottage in Canada. Here, for a couple of weeks, you enjoyed being with GiGi, Papap, Peet, Aunti Kim, and Uncle Bob.

It was at this cottage a year ago that you took your first steps.  Your mom and I noted that after you took your first steps you just started to run, and have not stopped since then.

But after your birthday you will have your own seat on a plane, be getting your own frequent flier miles, and I wonder how many adventures await you. I also wonder which airline you will get the most miles on?

I can't wait.

Here are a few photos from the cottage.


Your dad- who loves traveling with his wife and son anywhere, anytime.

Travel tires one out

In Atlanta you got to walk Aunti Kim's Dog

We celebrated GiGi's birthday

Who is that Superman

Fresh air and sunshine

Taking a walk with Aunti Kim and Uncle Bob- a super hero

We brought your favorite video for you

Your favorite dish is when Papa makes you oatmeal, except you call it MealOat

Visiting some friends who had a boat- you responded by relaxing

In Toronto you like some good bull