The last swim lesson (for now)

May 24th marked the last lesson of my final 8-week swimming session through the CTH/YMCA partnership. Every Friday, I would board a small, yellow school bus at 9:00 a.m. and head poolside with my Lightning McQueen backpack and Batman towel. In an effort to further develop my swim skills, I spent valuable time away from the classroom because even though school is important, swimming is importanter. Haha… see what I did there?

Seriously though, I am going to miss these days and I’m pretty sure that pool and those swim coaches are going to miss my Batman moves and strokes. But “I’ll be back,” perhaps as the Terminator, someday in the future to achieve my next levels of swimming greatness.

Thanks for the swim (and life) lessons, YMCA! And thanks, mom, for being there to document my high dives & silly splashes, helping my shivering body remove those cold & wet swim trunks, and then taking me out to lunch with Dad to celebrate!

Class of 2032

Dear future me,

You belong to the class of 2032. That means, by this time next year, we’ll be celebrating your kindergarten graduation, after having spent 180 days as a 1st-grader-in-training. You’ll likely have a bunch of new friends, but hopefully, you’ve stayed in touch with your current best buds: Ireland, Lila, and Colin.

Today, you want to be a police officer, and I’m curious to see if you’ll hang onto that dream throughout kindergarten or if you’ll explore other aspirations. I’m guessing you may also take up soccer or basketball, and with any luck, you’ll have found a way to get enrolled into that karate class you’ve been begging mom about. But, regardless of the path you choose, I promise to always be by your side!

My only advice is to pause from time to time, when you’re in that new school as a bigger fish making bigger splashes, and look downstream to remember who you are, where you came from, and what you’ve accomplished. Because surely those memories will lead you back to your 4K graduation and all that you embodied on that celebratory day… You wore your cap and gown so proudly. And your dance skills were on point. And your eyes sparkled while you skipped around with cupcake fingers. Everything about that moment was magical. But mostly, I loved how you sang at the top of your lungs, freely distributed endless hugs and high-fives, and chased your buddies until you were sweaty and out of breath… almost like you heard Darius Rucker’s refrain, “It won’t be like this for long.

So, live it up, little man! Be bold, stay curious, and keep smiling. And if you ever experience self-doubt, just lean on your loyal fan club/paparazzi… as you probably noticed at your 4K graduation ceremony, they will forever be rooting for you.

Cheers to the Class of 2032!

Best wishes and much love with a cherry on top,
Jaeger the 4K Graduate

P.S. Be sure to check in on mom; I noticed she got teary-eyed during the 4K graduation slideshow and so she’ll probably be a bigger mess when you graduate from kindergarten. Like, maybe give her extra snuggles?

P.P.S. Is it scary exploring the world without training wheels? And how do you like your new big-boy bedroom!?

First Fish as a Five-Year-Old

Last weekend, we headed down to the North Bend Bottoms to kick off the fishing season!

I woke up wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, unlike my sleepyhead father, who forgot my life jacket. Luckily, we had a different lifesaver along: Grandpa, who remembered the Oreos.

Part of being a 5-year-old fisherboy is boredom. But, just as I got so bored that I started missing my sister, we caught some action in the form of a Red Horse and a Sturgeon – two types of fish I’ve never seen before. Then, I was hooked!

Fishing with Dad and Grandpa is the best… Go for the Oreos and stay to see what else Grandpa packed in his lunch cooler. And, of course, it’s fun to catch fish with my five-year-old muscles, too!

Genesee on Trial: Facing 21 months

All Rise. Court is now in session with Judge Jaeger presiding and prosecuting.

Calling the case of the People of the State of Wisconsin vs. Genesee Jaydeigh Goodenough.

Opening Statement:
April 26th marked 21 months of sharing my toys and my spotlight with my little sister, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I mean, I could do without the sharing part, but Genesee made us a party of 4 and I love a good party. Plus, she¬†gets cuter every day and I can hardly stand it.

But cuteness only takes you so far in life. Consequently, I’ve started collecting evidence to determine if she’s worthy of that bedroom I was evicted from.

Fact-Finding:
First, I observed Genesee’s every move and became slightly concerned by her obsession with Dad. Hence, the stalking allegations on her record.

Then, I noticed Genesee started following me, too. And although I found this behavior to be somewhat unwanted and annoying, mom assured me that I’ll think it’s cool someday.

Over time, my observations of Genesee pointed to signs of change, growth, improvement, and increased intelligence, like you’ll see in Exhibit A (below):

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Genesee is starting to like mom a little bit!

Let me also present to you, Exhibit B:

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Genesee has started brushing her own sweet tooth!

And of course, there’s Exhibit P:

Closing Argument:
In conclusion, I’d like to present this final piece of evidence (video documentation below) that proves Genesee is no longer the innocent baby we once knew. In fact, somewhere between all the changing and growing, we found her guilty of filling our house with laughter:

However, while guilty on one count, we do adore our cutesy-wootsy-but-sometimes-whiney chocolate-milk-drinking, door-closing, bathwater-listening, always-snacking, dad-shadowing, arm-crossing, nature-loving lady and so I hereby release the defendant to continue living her best life so that the world can enjoy her goofy contributions to society.

Genesee: Please do not make me regret this verdict. Instead, go forth and do good in the world by continuing to make us all proud.

Case closed. This court is adjourned.

After Party Eggstravaganza

Easter wasn’t just Easter. It was also the 3rd installment of my birthday celebration series. Because turning 5 requires a Pre-Party, an Official Party, and an After Party Eggstravaganza.

Before kicking off Easter weekend, the Easter Bunny visited us at school! One of us was grateful…

 

…the other one was traumatized.

Luckily, for Genesee’s sake, there were no run-ins with the Easter Bunny at home, but there was evidence that he visited!

 

After inspecting Easter baskets and enjoying the contents for breakfast, we moved the celebration to the Nicolai’s house for the After Party Eggstravaganza.

 

Based on the above smiles, snuggles, happy bellies, and full hearts, it is my recommendation that we continue the three-pronged approach to commemorate all birthdays from this day forward.

Officially Five

Chuck E. Cheese was just the pre-party, of course, because my actual birthday was April 16th. That’s the day I officially became a 5-year-old, so we sealed the deal with cupcakes at school, a dino-mite birthday cake at Grandma’s kitchen, and a much-anticipated gift opening session before bed.

 

If you’re looking for me anytime soon, I’ll likely be playing my new Nintendo Switch game system (thanks parents and Nicolais), modeling & test-running my sweet new Pumas (thanks, Kari!), scrolling the Amazon site with my loaded gift card (thanks, Papa!), or flying my new kite and enjoying the outdoors on my new tree swing (thanks, Grandma & Grandpa)!

If you’re wondering what 5-years-old looks like on me, I’m the cute little guy with newly-surfaced freckles, a skill for translating my sister’s jibberish, a sudden fear of “bad guys,” and a need to confirm the doors are locked every night. I also have a wiggly tooth, a bike with no training wheels (that I have yet to master), a newfound love for the TV show Wild Kratts, a well-developed talent for snapping, and a constant urge to run throughout the house naked.

To be five is to be alive; watch me live this year up!