Happy Mother’s Day 2020

Dear Mom,

When you brought us into this world, I’m sure you weren’t prepared for what kind of damage and destruction we had in store for you. After all, being a good parent doesn’t come with instructions (or safety gear), but nothing kept you from loving and protecting us.

No one ever knows what life has in store for them and yet look at us. We made it! You were able to raise us and keep us safe (and let’s face it, dad is basically a toddler too, so essentially you’re raising three boys!!!) Even in a house of all guys, we all are growing up strong, happy, and caring.

Being a mom means being patient when your little boys want to run around and put stuff in the shopping cart when you just want to get the groceries and get out of Big Y. Being a mother means answering every dumb question we ask when you just want relax. Being a mother means watching “Trolls World Tour” over and over and over again even though your DVR is overloaded with Beverly Hills of Something shows. Being a mother means being able to take good care of your kids, (and dad, and Busty and Max), while still working 700 hours a week. Lastly, being a mother means being the never ending source of love and support for your kids.

You are the best mom anyone could ever ask for! Thank you for loving us and letting us grow up and learn how to be a good person from you. We love you very much!

Love Always,

Jackson and Oliver

And Buster and Max

CoronaVirus: The First Month+ (March/April)

Starting from the first day my school district and my sons’ school district/preschool closed down I began a running diary of what life has been like in “quarantine.” Below is March/April, the first month and a half of the CoronaVirus “shutdown.”

Day 1: Monday, March 16:

First day of social distancing. People can’t go to school, work, bars, restaurant’s, movies, parks… anywhere. People literally have nowhere to go and the virus continues to spread.

NYC is literally a ghost town. Central Park is empty and Times Square is dark. The world is literally shutting down and the zombie apocalypse is upon us, yet my wife is still shopping.

Day 2: Tuesday, March 17:

There’s some semblance of a routine here. Morning meeting: singing the hello song Oliver sings, “Hello to a fart,” and Jackson farts almost perfectly on cue. Both laugh endlessly. All is well in this house (for now). Reading stations. Schooling actually happens for 15 minutes. (I still got it).

Got a message from my my mom about teaching, “Good job. You still know how to teach! Good job Jax and Ollie. Nothing like home schooling. When’s recess!??!?”

Day 3: Wednesday, March 18:

Steph is now officially working from home. My routine (two days worth) is ruined already. This is going to be really difficult.

Having completely different parenting styles is hard enough when you are alone with the kids. But, having completely different parenting styles when you are both together with them (especially for an extended period of time) is infuriating.

On a side note, today was notable as I used a circular saw and still have all ten fingers. Jax and I made a canopy for the fish tank. I’d like to share that we are both good looking and pretty handy, if I do say so myself.

Day 4: Thursday, March 19:

A ton of at home work today. The kids were completely left to fend for themselves. They have now turned feral.

Oliver is on all four barking like a dog. Jackson just lifted his leg and peed outside. We got to a point today where we had to just cage them to keep some order around here. It was a tough decision, but in the end it was in everyone’s best interest.

Day 5: Friday, March 20:

Actual quote yelled at the top of my lungs to my two children, “Have either of you heard of the Hunger Games?!?? If not you better read up, because that’s where we’re headed right now”. I’m confident I won’t make it out of this “quarantine” with multiple children.

Day 6: Saturday, March 21:

Our first casualty of the quarantine was Oliver’s nose… he looks more like Rocky in this picture than Sylvester Stallone does.

Then again it was the weekend. So this dad, principal, teacher and husband got a break. Nope, just kidding. I spent the day breaking up slap fights and hand sanitizing everything with in ten feet of me.

Since today seemed to be full of quotes it’s only right that I end that way:

Two quotes that define our week of quarantine:

“No!!!! Give me that booger now!!!”

“Does anyone in this family sew!!??”

Day 7: Sunday, March 22:

“And on the seventh day he rested.” Even the Lord took a day to himself. Now I’m not comparing myself to God, but if anyone deserves a rest you’d have to vote working from home parents with two little boys as a top candidate.

Day 8: Monday, March 23:

The first day of true distance learning for our kindergartener. He was amazing. Mom set up a sticker chart for him and he earned one for every task (including his secret chore… which was fake and we just made up because we needed him to help).

Today provided another challenge for the quarantine/homeschool/work from home process. We woke up to a theee year old with a 105.3 fever and went to sleep with a 103.

Day 9: Tuesday, March 24:

Today I walked in on an interesting conversation. I heard mom ask, “Oliver where does a burp and a fart come from?” Oliver’s response equally as troubling as the question, “your mouth.”

Jax had such an interesting and exciting morning. I guess it’s his new normal… his teacher and class did a group ZOOM Conference Meeting!!! I guess social interaction with his teacher and friends VIA a computer screen are his new normal. They are everyone’s new normal.

Day 10: Wednesday, March 25:

We practiced yoga today. We all needed it today. I don’t know who needed it more… me or them. The house walls are closing in on everyone. It’s a relatively crappy day and everyone is stuck inside except for a few quick runs in the rain and some jumping in puddles.

I can’t organize anything around here anymore than I already have. I’m beginning to reorganize things that have only been organized twice so far this week.

Day 11: Thursday, March 26:

I traveled out of the house to pick up some essentials. People have officially lost it. A woman at CVS was holding a plastic bag over her nose and mouth. Apparently suffocation is an ok way to go out, but COVID-19 is where she draws the line.

The kids are pretty much teaching themselves at this point. Jax was reviewing sight words with Oliver earlier in the morning and rewarding him with NillaWafers for every correct answer. It was like watching a trainer feed the seals at Sea World for performing tricks.

Day 12: Friday, March 27:

Joe Exotic thinks he’s a tough guy hanging out in a cage with five vicious tigers???

Please… try navigating distance learning and 12 days stuck in a house with a 6 and 3 year old.

Day 13: Saturday, March 28:

There’s only so much you can when it’s cold and rainy outside during a time of social distancing. I lit a fire. I might have burned stuff around the house purely for researching purposes in case the quarantine turns into a shelter in place (of course the fire happened in a safe and supervised manor)…

1. diaper box- forgot to take off the tape and shipping label. That smelled bad! Also, it didn’t fall out of the fireplace and almost light all of Steph’s EASTER decorations on fire.

2. An avocado peel. Cool flame color from that.

3. A wet log from the outside fire pit (my bad I forgot it was out in the rain, it didn’t feel wet)

4. Some random lint I found in the under-underneath of the couch cushion (there was a tiny hole in the back side of the couch in which i found the above mentioned lint, a cupcake wrapper, a fire stick remote, three Direct TV remotes, three magnets and some painters tape.

Day 14: Sunday, March 29:

Rainy Sundays are always a bore, but even more so when you’ve already been home for 14 straight days. We needed to spice things up a little bit and there’s only so many times you can recreate scenes from Frozen II. That’s when the perfect song came to mind.

As rock music blares through the house, the boys and I are standing in our boxer shorts in the middle of kitchen feeling very free and ready to bring some excitement into this dark and rainy Sunday afternoon. Jax and Oliver clearly stole the show as they strut across the room with makeshift microphones and oxford button downs. I’d like to say my slide would have given TOM Cruise a run for his money… but then again, I’d rather keep that video hidden from the public eye.

The day ended in a makeshift fort (that resembled a pretty well built lean-to that even Bear Grylls would be proud of) all snuggled up watching… what else? FROZEN II.

Day 15: Monday, March 30:

The kids are shockingly having spaghetti and meatballs for the 8th day in a row.

Day 16: Tuesday, March 31:

You know Distance Learning has become just another day when your three year old has his own Zoom Meetings to attend. Oliver got to Zoom his friends today. Witnessing multiple toddlers try to figure out how to take turns on a video conference call was as insanity!!!

We’ve now resorted to posting a ZOOM MEETING family schedule.

Day 17: Wednesday, April 1:

It’s Poppa Peep’s birthday today. We spent the day prank calling him. Jackson thought it would be funny to get Alexa to sing him, Happy Birthday dear fart!”

Day 18: Thursday, April 2:

Today was a lot. The New Normal is beginning to be just normal. There’s so much to balance… but in reality there’s always so much to balance. I try to continue to look at things as they come. There’s always another hurdle to get over (track and field reference) and if you know how to be flexible… truly flexible and more importantly resilient, then you can continue to get through things. Never perfectly, never easily… but you can continue to evolve.

Jax has taken this massive change very well. He’s struggled a bit, but that’s expected. He misses school, his friends and his teacher, but he’s dealing way better than I’d have ever imagined a five year old would. Oliver however, is a mess. There’s been a lot of tears and lot of falling asleep around 4:30 wherever his head hits a pillow.

We’re all exhausted. Everyone’s exhausted.

Day 19: Friday, April 3:

Today I ventured out… I had to make a trip to the UPS Store. It was what I expected. People standing far apart from each other and giving dirty looks if you coughed or let alone breathed heavily.

I’m at the point where I’m convinced if someone hears me sneeze than some government agents are going to come get me like in Monsters, Inc.

Day 20: Saturday, April 4:

It feels like the 473rd day of the year. Luckily, I love being around my kids. Yes, they drive me and mom nuts, yes they can be as annoying as Lloyd Christmas on a road trip… but in the end, this extra time with them is a blessing.

Day 21: Sunday, April 5:

It had to happen. The two of us. The hair was out of control. Shaved heads.

Oliver… get ready. You’re next.

Day 22: Monday, April 6:

Steph and the kids are down at the bottom of the driveway now drawing a six foot containment area with sidewalk chalk so that their best friends could come over to say hi.

Jax decided to draw it a little bit up from the bottom of the driveway so that they could park at the bottom of the driveway to block it off. He asked if everyone could bring some chairs so that everyone could sit and talk.

I’ll put my kids chairs in the bed of the truck, I don’t trust them otherwise. High school kids is a different story. Harvey and Oliver will immediately run up to, and lick each other!

Day 23: Tuesday, April 7:

Good day today, Zoom meetings and Google Hangouts for days, but it was actually one of the first smoothly run days so far. Things ran like clockwork. One meeting ends, the next one starts, Jackson’s school work was done with little pushback and lots of higher level thinking. Oliver ate more of his lunch and dinner than he fed to the dogs for once.

I gotta say it was a good day!

Day 24, Wednesday, April 8

Today was a relatively light day. Lots of Zoom meetings, and a few teacher and parent chats. Interestingly, I was notified by a student VIA Email that researchers in India, recently discovered a new species of green pit viper and that they have decided to name the snake after the “Harry Potter” book series character Salazar Slytherin.

The fact that during this unprecedented time in education a student reached out to me about a random snake in India and its relationship to Harry Potter let’s me know I’m doing my job as an educator in both building relationships and promoting reading!

Day 25: Thursday, April 9:

Buster and Max must think we quit our jobs to spend all of our time with them. They are in heaven with all the attention and extra food they are getting everyday!!!

Day 26: Friday, April 10:

Our town’s school lunches are on point. We decided to pick up today after reading that every child in town qualifies and that it helps keep the school’s meal numbers up which helps with funding. Plus Jax was so excited for a “hot lunch.” This massive haul is for both kids and on Friday’s they give you three days worth for the weekend!

Although I will say, Jax was very disappointed they package the calzone with broccoli, because now the calzone smells and taste like broccoli. Also factor in that Stephanie told Jackson to dip his calzone in the sauce that came with it… Mind you it was salsa not marinara.

Day 27: Saturday, April 11:

I’ve seen Trolls world Tour six times in two days and Onward twice. Jax is in two pairs of underwear because there’s no school today, he said. Oliver wore no socks; Jax had on one sock all day. Their feet are filthy. Oliver just drew a goatee on his face in sharpie, guess what I.DON’T.GIVE.A.SH!T

Day 28: Sunday, April 12:

Easter

Today we celebrated Easter… from a distance. Well… the distance between the street and the front yard.

The Easter bunny did a quick drive-by and left some eggs in the house… And the neighbor sent their Easter bunny over to drop off some eggs in the front yard… And then Mima and Papa keep came a bit later and dropped off even more Easter eggs.

Needless to say there are more pennies nickels and dimes in this house than you can even imagine. There’s candy flowing from every orifice and every cabinet. It’s stacked on every shelf and hiding in every drawer.

Day 29: Monday, April 13:

First day of April Vacation

I’m done. I’m listening to Stephanie just threaten the boys, while I hide in the Harry Potter Cupboard. They just laugh at us. They are in control and they know it.

To top off our first day of “April Vacation” we lost power.

Two toddlers ✅

Corona Quarantine ✅

Pouring Rain ✅

Power Outage ✅

Pray for us 🙏🏼

PS: Sometimes I wonder if they got this corona if it would slow them down?

Day 30: Tuesday, April 14:

I couldn’t get five seconds to do anything today. I take out the lawnmower, “can I push?!!!” I take out the rider lawnmower, “can we drive it?!??” I take out the weed wacker, “can we use it!???”

Want to know how I solved that problem. I gave the kids two pairs of scissors and told them that they had a very special tool that was used to trim long grass against the pool fence.

It kept them busy for almost 45 minutes. And the best part is Oliver used scissors with the plastic blades that doesn’t cut anything but Play Dough.

Day 31: Wednesday, April 15:

I can not watch Trolls World Tour one more time, I just can’t!!!

Day 32: Thursday, April 16:

“The best day of my life!” According to Jackson. For the first time he asked to go out and play baseball together, unsolicited. He hit, I pitched, we laughed, I cheered and he kept asking for tougher pitches. It was amazing.

I am so impressed with the development of his swing over the course literally only an hour. He hit righty and lefty and by the end of the day he was identifying what he did wrong with his swing, even if he made contact.

We also had another first for Oliver. He received his first ever REAL baseball glove. I’d been saving it and had it stored away for the right occasion and today was the perfect occasion. A beautiful sunny (quarantined) day, to play the field while his brother took BP!!!

Day 33: Friday, April 17:

Quarantine art project… the kids repurposed old chairs from my school. They really look great and will brighten up the office! I’m excited to get back and set them up.

I won’t lie, as excited I am to get back, I am loving the extra time with my family.

Day 34: Saturday, April 18

No comment. I’m done. I have nothing to say about this nonsense anymore.

Four humans and two dogs… I don’t know if this is even real life anymore. I literally put shoes on this morning just to remember how they felt.

It’s effecting everyone:

Jackson: Is today Saturday?

Me: What do you think?

Jax: You don’t know either, do you?

Day 35: Sunday, April 19:

It’s such an interesting time right now. How can we explain “social distancing,” quarantine, or the cancellation of life as we know it to our children, now and even later?

Its not even like saying, “what was life like before DirectTV, cell phones, or the internet, etc.” In those days you could at least walk to your neighbor’s house, or down the road and play with everyone in your neighborhood. Now, my children are begging to talk to the neighbors across the street.

“Dad, when the coronavirus goes away, can Kendal and Scarlett come over to play again??!?? I really miss them!”

Of course they can buddy… when… that’s the question.

Day 36: Monday, April 20:

So, today the governor issued an executive order in Connecticut. Masks or cloth face coverings are now required in public in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus as the number of cases nears 18,000 and the death toll passes 1,000. This isn’t a problem for me as I had my mask all set to go.

Day 37: Tuesday, April 21:

I give up. Kids are now fending for themselves. “Ohh you’re thirsty, find a puddle.”

Day 38: Wednesday, April 22:

Pouring rain outside✅

Social Distancing in effect ✅

Every place closed ✅

Indoor bounce house…

Best investment ever ✅

Day 39: Thursday April 23:

It’s barely the end of April, but we needed to do something drastic. We needed something to entertain these kids and were running out of ideas. We didn’t want to do it, but we felt we had to. It was are only option!!!

The pool is now open! The temperature outside is a balmy 53* and the temperature in the water is 41*. But that didn’t stop Oliver from splashing his feet on the steps and Jackson from attempting a penguin plunge.

Day 40: Friday, April 24

#ChroniclesOfANewUncle

Today Stephanie and I became an aunt and uncle for the second time and the boys are now cousins again to a beautiful baby boy.

Roman Micheal who surprised us a few weeks early this morning is sporting the family’s good looks and big nose. Congrats to Tricia Kershaw and Dustin Kershaw ❤️❤️❤️

Day 41: Saturday, April 25:

Day 42: Sunday April 26:

Got this message from Stephanie today:

14 days!??? Please… remind me when it’s tomorrow.

PS: Any recommendations for a Quarantined Mother’s Day gift?

Day 43: Monday, April 27:

Today we celebrated a birthday unlike any birthday ever! Our brand new SIX YEAR OLD was in heaven with all the virtual and social distancing love he got on his special day!!! Thank you to all Jax’ friends and family for an unforgettable birthday.

Telling a six year old he can’t have a party can be a difficult thing to explain. But we more than made up for it today!!! A MASSIVE SHOUT OUT TO THE FIRE AND POLICE DEPT FOR THEIR SIREN AND LIGHTS DRIVE BY!!!

Day 44: Tuesday, April 28

When your child calls your name for the millionth time during quarantine:

Stephanie still has to go into work once a week. It’s nearly impossible to work from home and still teach your kids/keep them alive.

I have so much respect for the parents who are maintaining some sort of normalcy and routine right now and even more respect for the children who thrive on structure and schedule, because most of the days we wake up and throw all of that out of the window. It’s just organized chaos at this point.

Day 45: Wednesday, April 29:

Day 46: Thursday, April 30:

With mom in budget meetings and me participating in Columbia Teacher’s College (virtual) workshops all day, the boys were set up for a rough day.

But, today the end of the month, 46 days since we went into this crazy state of quarantine, they were phenomenal. They read, worked together on math problems, and sat next to each other (arms around each other) watching a movie as the sun set on another long day of coronavirus life.

Social Distancing Birthday

Planning for children’s birthday parties in and of themselves are always painful, but try having one when dealing with a pandemic. People running all over the place, kids snots flying all over the place, Hans sanitizer flowing like a waterfall But, try actually having your child’s birthday during a pandemic.

Whether it’s your child’s birthday or someone else’s, there are plenty of ways to celebrate from home, of course some of these “virtual birthday” parties are getting out of controls, but luckily Jax has no expectations except to be with his family (which is what makes him so special). We might not be able to say “Happy Birthday” in person, but lockdown didn’t need to ruin Jax’ birthday plans completely.

We live in a town where I used to work. I have become friendly with the police and fire crews who serve our school system and became colleagues of mine. The amazing first responders came through with lights and sirens which absolutely blew Jackson’s mind! He was more excited then I’ve seen him in a long time and it was priceless. Nothing, no party, or venue could have make him smile the way those truck made him smile…

…that was until his classmates, Mima and his Cousin Dominic all drove by with sign on their car and horns blasting. Jackson was again The Mayor. He was conducting business meeting with parents, he was waving to his fans… all in all, it was a wonderful day!!!

Honestly, I think we are going to need to through him a “quarantined birthday” every year!

Happy 6th Birthday Jackson

Dear Jackson,

As I sit here and contemplate the words that are needed to wish you the happiest of happy birthdays during this unbelievably unprecedented time we are living in right now, I am struggling to even come up with a way to start. How do we explain to a six year old that he can’t be with his friends, or go somewhere for a birthday party? That’s what 2020 is for you at this point… an everlasting, unexplainable time that you have somehow become accustomed to.

So I guess this is where we start. During a time that even grown ups can’t understand or handle. Yet, you, a six year old, have handled it with humor and confidence. You ask questions and want to learn what is going on. That’s who you are. That’s who you’ve become these last six years. From the little boy who brought joy and happiness to everyone around him to the six year old… not so little boy who brings joy and happiness to everyone around him even in the darkest of times.

I enjoy being around you more than you know (yes you drive me insane sometimes but then again I had a hand in creating you! I never realized how annoying I could be until I created a miniature version of myself and started arguing with it daily). Yet, even in those times I never stop loving you. Your mom and I will never stop loving you.

Tonight, as we readied you for bed as a five year old one more time, you called us back to your room fourteen-million times. You just wanted is to lay with you and talk. You apologized for keeping us up so late, but wanted us to know you were just being a “chatterbox” tonight. How do we stay mad at you when you come up with things like that?!??

What has stood out to me the most in this past year is how you have taken your little brother under your wing. I’ve written about how you love him, but recently you have become a mentor, the way an older brother should. Today I listened in as you taught him how to play bingo and smiled as he just threw the balls across the table, not once did you lose your patience with him. That’s a lie, you lost it a few times, but never gave up hope that he’d get it in the end (he didn’t).

While we have been distance learning/ homeschooling you have been teaching Oliver how to hold a pencil, how to do reading centers and most importantly have been a shoulder for him to cry on when he is upset. You share with him and always tell him you love him.

The last month and a half has defined the year 2020 so far. The CoronaVirus will forever be tied to your kindergarten school year and your sixth birthday, but it will never define you. You are creative, passionate and caring. You want to do things for others and recognize that something as simple as making a heart out of red construction paper to hang on our window makes other people smile. You are stronger than any virus, hell you’re stronger than me in many ways too.

I love the big boy you have become, but wish you could slow down growing up so fast. This family is lucky to have such a loving little boy, who’s smile lights up a room and who’s laugh can brighten even the darkest of days.

Happy QUARENTINED Birthday, Jackson. We all love you very much!

Love Always,

Dad

April 27, 2014
April 27, 2015
April 27, 2016
April 27, 2017
April 27, 2018
April 27, 2019
April 27, 2020

“It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.” -Albus Dumbledore

Distance Learning Potty Training

Distance learning has its benefits and it’s downfalls. Being home everyday, while also being almost completely unavailable is the perfect definition of what I mean.

BENIFIT: Being able to help potty train your three year old.

DOWNFALL: Being able to help potty train your three year old.

We’ve had many trials and tribulations with the whole potty training thing with everyone in this house. Hell… the dogs are still strategically placing landmines all over the house. We’re a clean up crew around here.

But then there are days that make the landmines all with it…

Oliver walked calmly over to Mom and said he needed to go potty. It was a clear potty training win. People all over the house, from far and wide screamed, danced and bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Amazing right… Fast forward a few hours…

I was summoned by the screams of an almost six year old… “Dad, Oliver is POOPING!!!” The same child that hours earlier had calmly walked inside and properly asked to use the restroom to do his business, now smiled, half hidden behind the coffee table.

Potty training… The highs are so high, but let me tell you the lows are so low (and messy, as well).

It Had to Happen

It was inevitable, the hair that sits on top of the three boys in this family is thick and wavy. Our barber sees us four weeks on the dot, otherwise we look like three of the original Beatles.

Today… two of the three original Beatles are no more thanks to the Coronavirus Shutdown.

Emails to Babies; A Guest Blog: Allison Berlin

Every so often I’m lucky enough to come across someone as nuts as I am and even more rare is someone who is willing to admit it. Allison Berlin is a great friend who has an interesting way of recording her children’s life events, so I asked her to write a guest blog to share her story with everyone…

Allison and her boys

On a recent weekend when pigs flew and 3 couples escaped together, kidless, to the mountains of Vermont, I shared an email with Peter that I had written to my 3 year old. Once he stopped laughing at said email, I explained the story of how and why I first started emailing my young kids, and he asked if I would share that story here.

When I was pregnant with our first son, my mother in law shared with me the journal that she kept when she was pregnant. I was immediately inspired – she wrote such thoughtful entries about her feelings as a new mom and current events. The entries were incredibly entertaining to read up on 30+ years later – a real-time look back to Reagan’s election and my father in law’s trip to the library to research the family’s first VHS player (seriously).

The day we found out we had a little boy on the way, I bought a journal, left it on the coffee table as an invitation for anyone to contribute, and vowed I would have something similar to give my son and his family to look back on. I was diligent – I wrote often, with my feet propped up, exactly the way a naive first time pregnant mom would. I passed that journal on to grandparents and my husband, prodding them to share their thoughts with their future grandson / son.

Fast forward to this new mom drinking coffee standing up at the kitchen counter, stuffing some semblance of food into my face to sustain any energy possible. With an actual live baby to now take care of, it became increasingly clear how little time I would have for those uninterrupted sessions of reflective journal writing. So I did what any (borderline) millennial would do – I made a new vow to continue the written journal up to his first birthday, then turned digital. I created an email address for my son that would allow me to jot down a quick message or send a photo “to him” on the fly. Stuck in a boring meeting at work? Shoot your 1 year old a funny picture from the night before with a note about a fun bath time (and maybe some life advice to find a job in his future that will not result in endless, boring meetings). Now this I could do.

My boys are now 5 and 3. They each have a written journal to account for their first 12 months (and admittedly a bit beyond, as my mother in law has not made the digital jump and continues to write) … and an email address that has kept up with them for the remaining years. I started these emails to give them the memories (and let’s be honest, maybe exactly the content they’ll need for future therapy sessions). Though, every so often, I take a look back at the emails I’ve sent these boys and realize they’re a small gift to myself.

Some subject lines along have the ability to elicit those mom tears of time moving entirely too fast: “Brudder,” followed 1 1/2 years later by “Brudder no more.” An account of my love of our youngest solely referring to his brother as “Budder”, and the sadness when he inevitably learned his actual name.

Others remind me that what you think is so trying at the time, truly is just a phase. You know – those times that prompt people to remind you, “this too shall pass”, while you smile kindly back, though make a mental note that this person is clearly deranged. “Is this a test?”: A quite lengthy letter to my youngest, wherein I find myself pleading with a young child’s email to PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD SLEEP for at least a few hours at a time!!!

Then there are some of my personal favorites – the ones that contain those little moments of life that are so easily forgotten, but oh so precious.”Mustard”: Conveying my son’s deep (if not sincerely confusing) love for mustard, accompanied with a picture of him eating, you guessed it, straight up mustard.”Your dad”: A moment in time when my husband was setting out to really wow, and inspired an email detailing why these boys should set husband / dad aspirations to their dad’s level.”Top bunk”: Because seriously, who knew how happy a surprise bunk bed at our vacation rental could make a kid.

Lastly, not to be forgotten… “Wobbly pants”: The email I shared with Peter that inspired this guest post, as he realized I had written a summary of my son’s love of skin tight pants (and relative hatred for what he refers to as “wobbly pants”, also referred to as simply “pants” by the rest of human kind).

It is these look backs that make me keep going and remind me how to answer the question of, “why the heck do you email your children?”. I picture them with their own babies on the way, gifting them this treasure trove of emails from their youth where they will find memories of wobbly pants and mustard alongside annual Christmas summaries. Then I remember I’ll be doing the same. I fast forward to a time when quick meals with kids running under foot are a faint memory. I’ll be all too aware of how fast time moves. Though I know I will have gifted myself these same distinct memories – and man, do I know those mom tears will be flowing.

A huge thank you to Allison as I am reviving the Chronicles Guest Blog Series, where we will “attempt” to show off some other authors and their thoughts on parenting, children and life.

Dear Kindergarten Class of 2020

Dear Kindergarten Class of 2020,

You might not be a high school senior, but this was a big year for you also. You began your journey as a student. You met new friends, began to learn in a whole new way, and set the foundation for your educational career.

We know how much you are missing so many things that were new and exciting to you, like riding the bus, learning a schedule, having lunch with your peers, and developing relationships with others who may become life long friends.

We know that this whole situation is hard for you to understand. We know that you miss your friends and teachers. We know that you were looking forward to so many fun things that were promised to you, like school trips, field day and even your hot lunch day… pizza on Friday. We as your parents have been looking forward to that too.

For us parents, we have been so excited to watch your journey begin this year. We have watched you mature and navigate a new experience. This has been the beginning of a whole new chapter for you and us as well.

We want you to know that no matter what, we will do our best to make sure that this time, although a time we could have never prepared for, will not damper this special time in your life. We promise to make this time as memorable and happy as possible.

We love you Jax!

Sincerely,

Mom and Dad

I read this on Facebook and wanted to share. It says everything perfectly.

“TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE DISTANCE LEARNING”

T’was the night before Distance Learning, students asleep, their lunches set out.

Then there were teachers who were ready although with some doubt.

Their outfits were hung by the closet with care.

In hopes that the Zoom App was ready when they were there;

The students were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of Google Classroom danced in their heads;

And teachers in ‘PJs, and I in my shorts,

Just settled down after finishing reports,

When out in the yard there arose such a clatter,

Everyone sprang from the bed to see what’s the matter.

Away to the window we flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon shown a shadow on the still of the yards

We yawned and we shuttered over ethernet cards .

When what to our wondering eyes should appear,

But a memory of a normal school day so distant and clear.

We cried and we sobbed as we packed up our laptop bags

We were exhausted and beat, time to wave the white flags.

We spoke not a word, but went straight to sleep,

We laid down with questions, but spoke not a peep.

Yes, we were sad that distance learning was coming so fast,

But we knew it was time to move on from the past.

While we wanted to take time and move on real slow,

We realized our students were ready to go.

So now as we sleep, we wish them the best.

And all we can hope is all these students and parents can get some real rest.

Dear Students, and my own two boys…
I’M READY IF YOU ARE!!!
-Mr. Fragola/Dad