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New Beginnings and Family Bonds: The #LittleLees Adventure

Updated: Feb 26

As 2024 marked a thrilling turn in my journey. I stepped down from my role as Director of Admissions, shifting my focus to the home front. In doing so, I've grown incredibly close to the children in my life. The hashtag #littelees, a concept I'd previously devised, has become an even greater part of our family's narrative. Lauren, my wife, has been delightfully overwhelmed with endless snapshots of our family adventures.

To merely say I have relished these moments would not do them justice. Yet, Lauren and I are also looking forward to the next chapter when our au pair arrives next month to assume the daily childcare duties, marking a new phase in our family life.

Vivian and Grayson's daily routines carve out special moments just for us, creating opportunities for daddy-daughter bonding and father-son camaraderie, as well as shared times that pave the way for our most memorable family escapades. Vivian has been my guide into the enchanting realm of Barbie, courtesy of her latest cinematic outing and the colossal Barbie Dream House that now claims a corner of our living room. My fingers have become more agile than ever, mastering the intricate dance of buttoning and unbuttoning tiny garments as I dress and redress Barbie to meet the exacting fashion standards set by my little stylist, Vivian. Each outfit change, completed in the blink of an eye under her watchful direction, is more than just play—it's an entry into her world, and these are the precious threads that weave our days together. 

My escapades with Grayson are always a delightful routine, but our recent FIFA Soccer matches on his Nintendo Switch have brought a whole new level of excitement! Alas, my in-game soccer skills were no match for Messi and the formidable Argentina team, leading to a humbling 7-1 defeat. Despite switching allegiances from Team Portugal to Team France, and even Team USA, Grayson's strategic prowess with Team Argentina was unbeatable. After a light-hearted wager involving donuts, I gladly honored my bet. And nothing could top the sweetness of Grayson's victory, except maybe his generous offer to buy two extra donuts for me and his sister with his winnings—a deliciously golden moment indeed.

Every Thursday, my heart swells with pride at Grayson's basketball practice, and that feeling doubles on Saturdays during his games, with me on the sidelines as the team's coach. It's a delight to instill in these eager 6 to 7-year-olds the most important rule of Coach Lee: the key is to have fun! I strive to teach them that basketball mirrors life; you'll never make the shot unless you take it. And when you tumble, miss, or slip up, the crucial part is to get back up and never surrender.

Though the YMCA may not officially score our games, one of the dads takes on the role, cheerfully updating me that we're on a winning streak! Despite the seriousness with which the kids approach each game, I always remind them, with a chuckle, that whether we win or lose, the real victory is in the joy of the game. 

Grayson is the epitome of joy on the court, always wearing a big smile! Each time he scores a basket or makes an assist, he charmingly blows a kiss to his mom in the stands, or he busts out a little dance, celebrating his little to big victories. At the same time, his sister is often engrossed in her world, her attention captured by the latest Scooby Doo mystery on her iPhone.

The future of 2024 may hold uncertainties, but one thing is crystal clear: I've drawn immeasurably closer to my family, savoring the love, joy, and countless cherished new memories we're creating together. Lauren, Vivian, and Grayson are always game for a spontaneous drive, a juicy burger, a shared laugh, a gripping movie, or a leisurely walk through the scenic paths of Lincoln Park. Our collection of memories continues to flourish, and I embrace it wholeheartedly. As the #littlelees narrative expands with each new post, I invite you to catch a glimpse of our delightful adventures in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.




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Chris Hooten
Chris Hooten
25 февр.

This is heartwarming Jonathan. Thank you for chronicling these lovely moments.

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