Dear Daddy: A Letter from Soleil

Dear Daddy,

Since you’ve been gone, lots has happened.

First of all, I got sick.  Here I am in bed…suffering without you.

Sick day

Mom compensated for your absence by letting us watch Plaza Sesamo (“PlazaMo” to you and me, Dad) on repeat for two whole days. We know ALL the words to ALL the songs now. I bet you’re really excited to learn them, too.

Then I got better only to discover that our hostel had been taken over by a wild band of beasts called Niños.

Niños, it seems, are a strange species resembling babies, but they are much bigger, louder and harder to please.  I kept my distance as I followed them around the yard and took notes.  After careful observation, I discovered them to be a highly volatile, often violent and sporadically tender mammal of the stinky critter class.

In short, I have yet to feel comfortable in their unpredictable presence.

Little boys Miguel

Mandalla Nursery

Don’t get me wrong.  I have tried to make friends, but it’s like all they want to do is smash things, pull my hair, and set butterflies on fire.  Could that be?

What are ninos?

Alright, let’s not mince words, Dad.  Between you and me, THEY FREAK ME OUT.  Please come home.  Please.

Ninos freak me out

But, even more disturbing is that Mom says…Oh geez, how should I put this? Dad, she says you’re one of them.  Is this true?

Are you a Niño, Dada?  Please tell me it isn’t so.

Are you a nino?!

Anyway, besides the Niño invasion, things have been pretty routine. 

Every day I do my chores: I help Mama wash the dishes, make the bed, and put away my toys.  My favorite, by far though, is feeding the chickens.

One for....

Oh! I’m supposed to feed the pan to the gallinas? My mistake.

Oops (you mean I'm supposed to feed the chickens)

Okay, one for me…

one for me

And one for you!

Comida a las gallinas

We’ve also been going climbing….

Mama and Sol2

…with our good friends Caro and Uri. Caro is a pediatrician, and Uri is crazy.  I really like them both.

Caro y Uri

On climbing days, I like to take myself on walks through the woods…Mama and Sol1

…until I find a nice quiet spot to reflect on toddlerhood and wonder where the heck you are. Sol's thinker rock

You see, I got this new project that I really REALLY want to show you.

Sol's new boulder

Check me out! I can get off the ground all by myself. Sol climbing

Here I am half way up.  Mom had to put down the camera, though, so we don’t have a summit shot.  I’ll just have to show you when you get back. Sol midway on her climb

The other thing I’ve gotten really good at is going potty by myself. I don’t wear pañales anymore, Daddy.  I thought you should hear it from me first: I’m a big girl now. I can even hold it all night long (which is more than we can say for poor Mom).

Super WOW, right?

Potty in the woods

Sometimes Luah comes over to play in the afternoons.  She’s my mejor amiga.

Look at how calm and reasonable she is!

“Why yes, Luah, I would like a strange little fruit that fell from the tree.  Thank you!”

Sol and Luah

And sometimes Mama and I go on a walk down the dirt road to get Agua de Cocos. Yummy!

Agua de Coco


Futbol boys

Well, that’s about it, Dad.  I hope you liked my letter.  Please come home soon. I can’t wait for you to tickle and cuddle me.

In the meantime, I’ll just be waiting here with my best smile and a basket of beans!


Soleil Because I'm cute

P.S.  Oh, I almost forgot! Mom says that she really loves you and can’t wait for you to come home and tickle and cuddle her, too!Close up of mama


  1. Awwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BEAUUUUUTIFULLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!

  2. Aunt Debby and Uncle Barry says:

    Wow Great letter Sol, We really can tell by the expressions on your face how your words ring true. Especially regarding the Nino. We want to see the look on your face when you see your Daddy again!

  3. It could be the tea, but I’m pretty sure that it’s the letter. I’m feeling all warm and cozy now. Love love, LOVE you girls. Nice work on the rout and potty milestone. That’s awesome.

  4. Is Tree the luckiest guy on the planet?
    I think so!

  5. Nonituyas says:


  6. oh sweety!! the world of the kids, baby.. welcome without pañales!!

  7. 2 gorgeous gals!! Beautiful letter sol! Xxxooo

  8. Pamela Dennis-Bussa says:

    Love the letter!

  9. Terry Buchanan says:

    Aaah, very cute…got a little choked up.

  10. Eleanor Kelly says:

    The best letter ever!

  11. Soooo funny!

  12. Peggy Ditch-Langdon says:

    So much love in your family…wonderful!

  13. Don’t make like a Tree and leaf…

  14. Well, that brought tears to my eyes. I’m pretty sure that Dada has tears in his eyes, too. He mentioned (over and over) how much he was missing his girls.
    Beautiful piece Stevie and Soleil! Steer clear of those ninos!!!
    Love you much! X

    • Just a few more months to go! We can’t wait to boogie down and eat some brownies. And I have lots of new recipes to make for you. xoxoxo

  15. Very sweet!

  16. Darlene Meadows says:

    This is the best Blog ever.
    Backed and written by a family who is nothing but
    filled with adventure and beauty.

  17. Mark Hudon says:

    This is pretty dang cute!

  18. Mara Imbellone says:


  19. Soleil, you’re awesome. I miss you.
    Love, Cousin Nica

    • Thanks cousin Nica!! I think you’re pretty awesome, too. Thanks for sending me videos. I love to watch them over and over and over again. I can’t wait to see you for Christmas. xoxooxox

  20. Donna Clary says:

    Wonderful, you have such a talent for writing with emotion in “common, everyday” experiences…well common to you and your crazy, adventuresome family. Sol is cuter than ever. Nice way to journal. Beautiful pic of you! Thank you for sharing.

  21. Tim Wilson says:

    🙂 🙂 🙂

  22. Tim Wilson says:

    I would love to go climbing with u guys!!! Cheers!

  23. Your Sprinter Life post was absolutely adorable, Stevie…Tree is one lucky nino…

    (((((Hugs))))) & love to all of you ….xoxoxo to Soleil (congrats on the potty training, too) Nana

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