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Dear Charlie 7

Hey kid, 

I barely have the time to write this. 

You just graduated VPK and are starting kindergarten in a couple of months. 

You’re so smart and learning so much every day. 

You’re in the phase of asking Google to play songs for you all the time. 

  • Friend Like Me by Will Smith
  • Pressure from Encanto
  • We Don’t Talk About Bruno from Encanto
  • Wanna be by the Spice Girls 
  • One of the Good Ones by Gabby Barrett.

You’re also in the phase of LOVING to sit and watch me play Zelda or join me in playing Mario. 

I unsuccessfully fought back tears through your whole graduation ceremony. 

I don’t know what it is about you getting older that makes me cry. 

It’s not just sadness, though that’s part of it. 

It’s not just joy, though that’s part of it, too. 

I think it’s recognizing the temporal nature of who we all are on this planet. 

I have to go back and watch videos to remind myself what two-year-old you was even like. 

It’s very strange to see you grow and become different versions of you and knowing that the old ones are gone forever. 

What I wouldn’t give to see two-year-old Charlie play with Codie right now. 

I can picture it, but it can’t happen. It’s saddening in its own way. 

It reminds me that I’m really just being granted a front row seat to watch you blaze through time, growing, changing, adapting, learning. SO. FAST. 

When I metaphorically peek my head out and look up and down the timeline, it’s an odd, deep sorrow, but also in a sense of cosmic comfort. This is the way.

I see myself as a little kid. My mom and dad trying to raise me. Relatives noting how fast I’m growing.

I see my grandfather passing. My dad passing. My grandmother passing. They all got to meet me and see part of my journey. But they didn’t get to meet you, or witness a single second of yours. It’s a wholly natural part of life, but still such a source of grief.

I see myself getting married. Choosing to have kids. You being born and our lives changing forever. 

Then your sister being born. You two both learning to interact with each other. 

Then I look down the road further. I see you in high school. I see you in college. I see you making it to the moon. Getting married perhaps. Having kids of your own, maybe. Hopefully so, if for no other reasons than karma and another adventure we’ll have both been on. 

I hope I am alive long enough to see so much of your journey, Charlie Hope. 

It’s also a reminder of how important it is to just take a moment and appreciate you every day. The present moments so quickly turn into past ones that you have to be intentional to experience them. I need to do better at that – I’m trying.

I love how confident you are. At your graduation, they had each of you say into a mic your name and what you wanted to be when you grew up. You were the first to say “gonna be” not want to be.

“My name is Charlie and when I grow up I’m gonna be an astronaut and a pilot.”

Your emotions are big, but not deep or long lasting. You will say you’re having the worst year because you got sent to your room, but 20 minutes later we’re laughing and playing. 

If you’re reading this and old enough to understand – please hold onto integrity and character. They are infinitely important to your journey and also the best ways to guarantee a good night’s rest.

I still say almost every night to you: 

Do you know that Mommy and Daddy love you very very much?
Do you know that we love you no matter what bad things you do?
No matter what good things you do? 
Who else loves you like that? (Jesus).

Now you’re peeking through my office door with a stormtrooper lego man so I think I have to be done on the computer for now.

I love you Charlie.

– Dad

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