Dear Charlie 6

It’s been way too long since I’ve written you a letter.

A lot has changed this year. Not all for the better. But some!

I am still down about 10 lbs. from the beginning of the year.

Despite everything that’s going on, my health is still the biggest battle I have to fight, and the most important way I can love you best. The better shape I’m in, the longer I am around to love you and raise you well.

Soon you’ll have a sister. And no, we’re not naming her “Mister Sister” so stop saying that.

While I don’t know the name yet, I definitely feel the burden of making sure I am a good dad to her too.

You and me, Charlie, we both have a LOT of lessons coming our way fast. You on how to be a good sibling, and me (and your Mom) on how to parent TWO children at the same time.

We only have 3 controllers for the Wii, so we’ll have to get another one. As if that’s remotely our big concern right now.

I am no longer working at Fracture. So starting my next career chapter is my biggest concern at the moment, aside from my health.

In fact, health is the other big concern, for all three of us.

It breaks my heart when I hear you ask if the Coronavirus is over yet.

You should never have known this word.

But keeping you safe is paramount, as is keeping your mom and your sister safe. And, because of my own past choices, I am probably in the highest danger among us from COVID-19. And I’m working to lower that risk every day.

But enough sadness, let’s talk about how awesome you are.

You love playing Mario Bros. Mostly we play on Super Mario Bros. Wii but sometimes you ask to play “the new one with a 3” which is actually just the old Super Mario Bros 3 for NES.

You even bingewatched the old, TERRIBLE Mario Bros. show on Netflix for a while and loved it. The Zelda stuff was a little too much for your age.

Now you’re onto Molang and, at least currently, you’re watching the Lego Black Panther cartoon like it’s going out of style.

Image:Marvel

And your favorite song is the Catchy Song from the Lego Movie soundtrack, which I love, because that song slaps. Don’t @ me.

You can go get your own PB&J from the freezer in the morning, and you can get your icepack when you get a booboo. Basically, you’re tall and strong enough to open the freezer and you’re flexing that independence.

Speaking of flexing that independence, you are passionate about getting your way. It’s one of your most annoying traits, as your parent. But I love seeing the fire in your eyes, and I can’t wait to see where that passion flows when you’re picking a school, a hobby, or a career.

You do this thing where you say, in anger, “I’m NEVER gonna be your friend, EVER AGAIN, until you’re nice to me!” This is usually when I’ve warned you that you’ll lose your toys if you come out of your bedroom again and you do, and so I take them away.

Honestly, it hurts hearing those words more than I care to admit.

There are little adventures we can do together now, walks together as a family, playing play dough together, or tossing all the various sized balls to you to catch and cheering when you do and watching you laugh so hard when you don’t.

I can’t wait to play more games and go on more adventures with you as you grow up even more.

You still want to leave “footprints on the moon” as an astronaut when you grow up and I know you can do it.

That’s why I really LOVE when I get to tell you to try again at something that you say you can’t do, like buckle your own seatbelt or climb onto a chair. I’m doing whatever I can do to make you believe that you can work hard, and grow, and improve at almost anything you commit to.

I HAVE to believe that that’s true because right now it’s the only life I can now lead to continue to be a good father to you.

I can’t wait to see you take on more and greater challenges as you grow faster than I want you to, and I hope you always can laugh that perfect laugh of yours when you fail because it’s another chance to learn, and grow, and try again.

For 3 and a half years now, I’ve told you every night:

“Do you know that Mommy and Daddy love you very much?

Do you know that we love you no matter what good things you do?

Do you know that we love you no matter what bad things you do?”

I pray that you will be a great big sister, encouraging and loving and caring and kind.

I love you so much.

Love, Dad