Tag Archives: children

Day 91: Karin

Day 91-3You really get to know someone when travel with them. When we go on vacation, we choose who are traveling companions are, but when we travel for work we often don’t have a choice. So when you travel with a work colleague who you really like, it makes the trip that much more enjoyable.

I arrived at her home in Bethesda to pick her up for our drive to Pennsylvania. After her dogs gave their approval, I made my way into the foyer. Her daughter Carolyn was by her side, her eyes heavy holding back tears. Karin had been traveling for work a lot recently and now I was making her mother miss another night at home. My heart became heavy, remembering how I felt when my dad would leave for long business trips when I was about Carolyn’s age. I’d cry while I waved goodbye to him at the airport.

I didn’t know Karin very well before this trip, but I really enjoyed spending time with her. She’s smart, interesting and very easy to talk with. I felt bad about Carolyn, but hopefully she will like this little polar bear.

Day 91-2


Vitaj doma! I hope you had a wonderful trip to Slovakia.

Day 91I wanted to thank you for taking time to travel with me to PA last week. Spending 4 hours in a car can seem like an eternity – but you made the time go by quickly and I enjoyed very much the opportunity to get to know you better. Here’s a little something for Carolyn to keep her inspired for your trip to see polar bears this fall.


P.S. And thank you for the Swiss chocolates, they were delicious!

Day 77: Mackenzie

IMG_0206I’m an uncle for the second time! What an amazing experience. Meet my beautiful niece Mackenzie.

I wanted to write her a letter on the day she was born – hopefully some day she and I can read this together. It will be fun, we’ll laugh and probably tear up a bit too. Mom and baby are both doing well.

Day 77

Dear Mackenzie,

 Day 77-3HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Only once in life do we get to say these words and it really mean what it says. What a day today was for you. You joined us at 2:38pm weighing in at 6lbs. 15oz. – they also measured you and you were 19.5 inches long. That number probably doesn’t matter a whole lot because you have a good chance of inheriting the short person’s gene – don’t worry, I got it too and I turned out relatively ok.

You were gorgeous and quiet when I first saw you – all swaddled up like a tightly rolled Chipotle burrito! Mom and Dad let me hold you – you stayed perfectly still with the exception of an occasional shiver. Your shinny pink eyelids softly closed and your lips gently touching, you were very relaxed given all the excitement that you had experienced.

I have been waiting for this day for a long time – imagining what you would look like, the shape of your smile, the color of your eyes, the gentle sound of you breathing. I can’t wait to watch you grow, just like I have with your beautiful sister Jacqueline.

Day 77-2-2Mackenzie, you and I share something in common – besides our good looks and calm demeanor – we’re both the younger of two siblings. This road can be tough sometimes, but it comes with some huge advantages too. Your sister Jacqueline will be your hero in life, just as your Dad has been mine. She’ll be your best friend, the person you can confide in, the one that you can always talk to about anything. It’s a very special gift.

And there is more good news – if you can stay awake a few more minutes to finish reading this letter. You’ve pretty much won the lottery. Yep, your parents are awesome – they’re the cream of the nursery as they say. You and Jacqueline are the most important part of their lives and they love you more than I can put into words.

I long to hold you in my arms again. Every moment we share together is important to me. I look forward to babysitting you, tucking you into bed at night, reading stories to you, helping you learn Spanish, making fun of your granddad together, taking you to the park, holding your hand as we walk together, laughing until our stomachs hurt, giving you a hug when you need one, seeing you participate in school activities, taking you to baseball games, spending the weekend with you and Jacqueline when Mom and Dad are away, watching you graduate high school, traveling with you to far parts of the world and watching you discover new places.

I could go on and on (Uncle Reed sometimes talks a lot) but what I’m trying to say is that you captured my heart today. And from this day forward my life will never be the same. I will stand by your parents to help raise you, support you in all of your dreams and most importantly I will love you unconditionally forever. That is my promise to you.

Day 77-2Get some rest – you’ve got a long beautiful life waiting of you.

Uncle Reed

PS. Sometimes the younger sibling doesn’t get photographed very much – don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!

Sunday Notes & Letters: The first reply to my letters arrives

So I am 46 days into my Year of Letters. It’s been an interesting journey so far. I’ve written family members, friends, politicians, corporate executives, children and even complete strangers. On Thursday I added some statistics to the project’s website. Some highlights are:

        People who replied with a handwritten letter: 2%
        People who didn’t reply with a handwritten letter, but acknowledged: 2
        Average number of days to receive handwritten replies: 19 days
        Furtherest distance traveled: San Anselmo, California (Day 29)
        Shortest distance traveled: Dupont Circle, Washington, DC (Day 34)
        Restraining orders received: 0

NickyLetterI guess the most surprising thing for me is how few responses I’ve received. My favorite one so far – ok it’s my only response so far – is from Nicky, a six-year-old boy from Oklahoma City. Thanks Nicky – you made my week!

A funny anecdote I’ll share as well. I wrote a handwritten note to my 84 and 86-year-old aunt and uncle. They replied…via email. Times are changing.