Kids Trapped in Thai Cave Wrote Letters to Parents

A few weeks ago, the world’s attention was captured by the harrowing events in Thailand, where a dozen young kids and their soccer coach were trapped in a series of undergound caves. Thankfully, after three agonizing weeks, they were all successfully rescued but there was a time when a happy ending did not seem likely.

The boys, ages 11 to 16, were eventually transported out of the cave by a team of Thai Navy Seals, and everyone is recovering. But about two weeks into the ordeal, the boys were able to get word to their parents and family members, many of whom were standing vigil outside the caves as preparations were underway to get them out.

The notes the boys sent, reprinted on CNN.com, are optimistic and hopeful, despite coming a few weeks into their agonizing ordeal.

They wrote one letter as a group, in a series of short statements, some of which served to remind those following the story just how young these kids are:

  • Don’t worry, everybody is healthy
  • We really want to go out and eat so many types of food
  • When we get out, we want to go home right away
  • Teacher, don’t give us a lot of homework
  • A few of the boys even got responses from their parents:

    Tun

    Mom, Dad,
    Don’t worry, I’m OK, please tell Yod to prepare to take me to eat fried chicken.
    Love you

    Tun’s parents
    Dear Titun,
    I’m waiting for you here at the cave entrance my brave son. I miss you. As you’re a strong and patient son, I believe that you will make it. We miss you. Love you, you are the only one for me.
    Mom and Dad

    Pong
    Love you Mom and Dad, don’t worry, I’m safe already. Love to everybody.
    Pong’s parents
    We are here waiting at the outside. Just be strong and take care of yourself well. We are here to give you a warm welcome hug. And we also want to say thank you to your coach for being so supportive taking care of the 12 kids. So don’t be so worried.

    Nick
    Mom, Dad, Nick loves both of you and younger sibling too. If I can get out, Mom, Dad, take me to eat moo kata. Nick loves Mom, Dad and younger sibling.
    Nick’s parents
    We’ve been waiting and still waiting to meet you.

    Mark
    Mom, are you OK at home? Stay at home. I’m OK. Please tell my teacher too.
    Love Mom.

    Mark’s mom
    We are still waiting for you at the cave entrance. Please don’t be so down being there. We are waiting. Take care.

    Mick
    Don’t worry. I miss everybody, Grandfather, Auntie, Mom, Dad and brothers. I love everybody. I’m happy in here. The SEALs take really good care of me. I love everybody.
    Mick’s grandfather
    I want Coach Ake to strengthen his physically and mentally weak health soon. I’m still waiting in front of the entrance. For Mick, I hope you have good health there and don’t feel so down as nobody here blames you.

    Adul
    Now, don’t worry about us anymore. I miss everybody. I really need to go back home.
    Adul’s parents
    We really want to see you and we’ve been praying for you and all of your friends everyday hoping to meet you all so soon. And on the day that you all are rescued, I want you to say thank you to everyone involved in. Please believe in God and don’t be worried. We’ll be here till we meet. And for the coach, Ake, I want to say big thank you to you as you have devoted yourself in taking care of the kids. And I want you to be strong fighting against this hard time. I’m also waiting to bring you back home and to your loving family.

    Night
    Night loves Dad and Mom. Don’t worry about Night. Night loves everybody.
    Night’s parents
    We just want you to know that we are waiting to have a birthday party with you, my son. So please take care of yourself and we’ll celebrate together. Don’t be so worried. Now we are all here together with your grandparents and your cousins waiting for you. We love you.

    Tle
    Tle misses Dad and Mom. Really misses Wubwab too. Love Dad and Mom very much. Don’t worry about Tle. I can take care of myself.
    TIe’s parents
    We have been waiting for you all to come out. We, your mom and dad don’t feel mad at what you have done. Now just take care of yourself as it’s really damp and cold there. I’m a bit worried but I know we will meet soon. We are still waiting to see you again soon.

    Note
    I’m OK, don’t worry. I love Dad and Mom and everybody.
    Note’s mom
    We are here for you, and we just want you know that you have to take care of yourself. We really miss you. And please tell the coach we don’t blame him and don’t feel any guilty.

    Bew
    Don’t worry, Dad, Mom, Bew has just disappeared for only two weeks, I will go back and help Mom to sell every time I have a free day. I will rush to go back.
    Bew’s parents
    We miss you. Love you as always.

    The coach not only wrote to his own family, but also to the parents of the kids in his charge.

    The coach to his family
    To my aunt and grandmother,
    I’m OK, don’t worry about me too much. Take care of your health. Aunt, please tell grandmother to make a vegetable drink and crispy pork when I get out. I will go and eat it. Love to everybody.

    Akkapol Chanthawong, the coach, writing to the boys’ parents
    Dear all the parents, All the kids are fine. There are people taking really good care of them. I promise I will take care of the children the best I can. Thank you for your support. I’m really sorry to the parents.
    Boys’ parents to the coach
    Dear Coach, Ake, We, as your soccer team member’s parents believe in you and your spirit that you’ve been taking a good care of our kids. We just want you to know that this is not your fault. We all here don’t blame you and just want you to not to blame yourself. We all understand all the situations that have happened and we are here supporting you. We appreciate all your loving support and care to our kids. We are waiting for the news that you all get back out of the cave safely soon.
    *Your aunt is also here waiting for you at the entrance.

    And finally, the medic team, awaiting the boys and the coach outside the cave, wrote a letter as well. Thankfully, they were right.

    From the medic team
    We want you to have strong health and mind to be ready for coming back home. And we reassure that we’ll take the best care of your parents. We’re sure you’ll be safe.

    Girl Asks Santa to Change Dad’s Shift so He Can Be Home For Christmas

    (WWLP)

    When I was a kid and Christmas came around, I put a lot of thought into my list.

    Before I clued into the fact that my parents were responsible for the stack of presents under the tree, I would ask for some pretty outlandish stuff. Like the G.I. Joe aircraft carrier. Or a bigger bedroom. Or no school for the rest of my life.

    After all, Santa was magic, maybe he could deliver something outrageous for me! I never got any of those things, for obvious reasons (I’m not convinced that aircraft carrier even existed!), but they weren’t important. Not like one little girl’s wish to Santa.

    Zadora is a 10-year-old from Springfield, Massachusetts who asked Santa for one very special gift this Christmas, and her grandmother was so touched by her request, who shared the letter with WWLP.

    (WWLP)

    In her letter, “Zee” tells Santa she doesn’t want any gifts, she just wants her dad’s shift at the post office to start a little later.

    “He would be so happy,” Zee said. “And when he is happy, I’m happy, and I’ll tell you this: I’ll even let you skip my house.”

    Her father, David Matias, has been working the 6:30 shift for 10 years, but it was recently changed to 4:30. And his daughter noticed the time they were losing, because Dad used to get her from school and they’d have a few hours together. But the shift change eliminates that.

    “I have all I want right now from my parents and I realized that I just wanted to spend more time with my dad,” said Zadora.

    Dad feels her pain. “Just the two-hour change had a big impact because now Zadora’s father gets out of school and it’s getting her from school and going straight to work so even the time we did have we lost that,” David told WWLP.

    Given the busy holiday schedule he’s not very hopeful that the Post Office will accommodate his daughter’s request, so, like Zadora, he’s hoping for a little Christmas magic.

    Photographers Make Christmas Magical for Children in Hospitals

    (The Heart Project/Edit by Jason Ulsrud - Photillustrator)

    Christmas is a special time of year, full of family, joy, and holiday traditions. Sometimes, real life has a way of dampening our Christmas spirit, and making the joy of the season more elusive than it should be.

    For no one is that more true for sick children and their parents, who are forced to spend the Christmas season in the hospital, and often end up missing a lot of what makes the holiday season so wonderful. When you’re stuck in a hospital bed, making a visit to tell Santa what you want for Christmas is not really in the cards.

    One organization is helping change that by bringing some of the holiday spirit to the hospital and allowing kids to get their hearts warmed.

    In 2016, an organization called “The Heart Project” was created by Karen Alsop and Adam Cubito. The non-profit organization was started by the pair in Melbourne, Australia. Together, as part of their “Christmas Wish” program, they take photos of children with Santa in their hospital rooms, then use Photoshop to edit them into gorgeous, fantastical images.

    (The Heart Project)
    (The Heart Project/Edit by Lisa Carney)

    “The idea sprouted from a conversation between myself and Adam Cubito (Heart Project co-founder) in 2016. We knew that Photographic Art had the ability to transport kids into another world and realized that this would be an incredible project to run in a hospital where many families couldn’t return home for Christmas”, Alsop told Bored Panda.

    (The Heart Project/Edit by Ben Shirk)

    They span the globe all year to take photos with children. They’ve traveled to hospitals and hospices in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, Christchurch, Auckland, Canada, Bristol UK and North Devon UK so far this year, and Alsop says they’ve taken photos with more than 200 kids in 2018 alone.

    (The Heart Project/Edit by Richard Wood)

    “Our mission has always been to put a smile on the face of families who are doing it tough at Christmas by making them escape reality – even for a day – thanks to the power of photography and Photoshop.”

    (The Heart Project/Edit by Mark Heaps - lifebypixels)
    (The Heart Project/Karen Alsop - Story Art)
    (The Heart Project/Edit by Mandy Smith and Karen Alsop)

    You can watch the entire magical process unfold in this video:

    Man-Cave Candles To Feel Like A Pirate Or Race Car Driver Or Whatever Your Thing Is

    Candle Feature

    Are you man enough to fill your home with some gentle aromas? Do you have what it takes to confidently strike a match, and set it to a wick without burning your finger a little bit? Can you handle watching the wax slowly melt away, and using that imagery to cope with your own daily stress and anxieties?

    Maybe you don’t think candles are for you, eh? Well it’s possible you just haven’t found the right kind. Check out our favorite Man-Cave mood setters, but be warned: You may find the power of scents-memory will transport you back to those days on untamed sea, wrestling with demons both inside and out.

    The smell of hard work and the past 

    DarkRum
    (Amazon)
    These candles understand the indisputable fact that some sort of booze + some sort of plant makes for a perfect smell. Dark Rum & Oak, Whiskey & Tobacco -or if you’re kinda weird- Absinthe & Black Fig are great scents that suggest you are secretly a Colonial Era blacksmith-turned-spy for the Revolution.

     

    Tiny campfires to remind you of real campfires

    Campfire
    (Amazon)

    By taming the fierce element of fire, mankind claimed dominion over the Earth. Now relish in that ultimate power with a little tiny fire in a cup. With a wooden wick to create authentic crackling, this is perfect for the dad who wants to enjoy taking their kids camping, but doesn’t want to listen to their kids complain about camping.

    Mmmmm. Musk. 

    FreshShaveCandle
    (Walmart)

    Personal grooming: Not always in the cards for a modern dad. But the refreshing aromas of cedar and musk can still be a part of your daily routine. Why musk is  a refreshing smell, we’re not sure. Just one of life’s mysteries. It’s the kind of thing you ponder while shaving, or now, sitting in a chair with a candle burning.

    Vroom-Vroom Wax

    ManCandles
    (Walmart)

    Are you a grease monkey? Well gear up with candles that say “everyone else is unwelcome in this room.”

    Still not convinced a candle is for you? If you are intrigued by enticing aromas, but prefer a bigger canvas, then we hope for your sake the KFC Herbs & Spices Firelogs will be back in stock sometime soon. Meanwhile we’ll be burning the candle on both ends, because we’re cool with candles that way.

    ChickenLog
    (KFC)
    We participate in the Walmart and Amazon Affiliate Programs. We may earn a small fee by linking to Walmart.com & Amazon.com. Unfortunately we could not find a capitalism-scented candle for this article. 

    Yellies: The New Toy Terrorizing Kids and Parents This Christmas

    (Hasbro)

    The holidays can be a tough time for parents. We’re tasked with doing everything we can to make our kids’ Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa as special as possible, and sometimes that means going against our better judgment.

    We end up stressing ourselves out moving a silly elf around, draining our bank accounts to get the kids everything they want, and shooting ourselves in the feet by buying them gifts that will go on to haunt our dreams.

    One hot new gift this season seems designed to do exactly that. They’re called Yellies, and they are tiny stuffed spiders that – get this – respond to the sound of yelling. Hence the name. That’s right, these toys skitter around the floor, and the louder your kids yell and scream, the faster they move, attracted by the noise.

    It sounds like a sick joke, and that’s surely how some dastardly aunts and uncles will be treating it when they buy the creepy little critters for your kids. Fortunately, despite the guaranteed headaches these toys are destined to provide, there is a bit of an upside for those parents with a dark side. And it’s being captured on social media.

    You see, people are scared of spiders, especially children. And what do children do when they’re scared? They scream. And Yellies love your screams. They feed on them. They run to them like moths to light. And the louder you scream, the more quickly these stuffed spider nightmares will be upon them!

    Some parents are taking advantage of this.

     

    View this post on Instagram

     

    Am I the worst mother ever or what? 😂😂 #yellies

    A post shared by Tonia☠️🌵 (@toniamaeskis) on

    Of course, sometimes a parent’s fun goes a little too far.

    It seems Yellies pack as much fun and fear into their tiny $14.99 package for both parents and kids alike!

    Just have the Excedrin handy.

    Just a heads up, if you buy stuff using the provided links, The Dad may collect a small commission, but opinions are our own.

    Father Figures: 125%

    “I’ve never really had a solid consistent father figure growing up.

    We moved from town to town, Mom had boyfriend after boyfriend, and my biological dad would ignore my messages and eventually left all social media. I have only one memory of him, when he came to visit when I was six-ish, and it was only for a few hours. He was never to be seen or heard from again.

    Growing up was rough, but when I got to the age when I understood what it meant to be a family and a true father, not just a dad, I knew I was going to be the best father I could be. I knew what to do right by what had been wrong and nonexistent in my childhood.

    Fast forward 10 years. When we first became pregnant, I froze and cried. I was so happy. We were happy and excited and we told everyone we knew and celebrated. Unfortunately too soon. We miscarried at 3 1/2 months. It was devastating. We thought everything was over, that it wasn’t meant to be.

    We were being ushered to move out because the owners were selling the house and we needed somewhere to go. We ended up buying a house (23 and 20 yrs old). Soon after we moved in, the first night of dinner in our own home, my girlfriend got sick. She absolutely loves steak and potatoes but it came right up and the smell made her sick some more. I knew at that very moment we were expecting. She broke the news, but I had already guessed and was excited just waiting for her to tell me.

    The pregnancy was miserable. She got diagnosed with HG (hypermesis gravidarum). Hospitalized 3 times for IV fluids and multiple false labors. But our son was a miracle! We didn’t want to know the gender and kept it a surprise. As soon as I helped him out and held him, I yelled “Milo!” I was laughing and crying at the same time.

    Fast forward to a year and a half later, when we were blessed with another beautiful baby boy, Remy. Again all joyful tears and sheer happiness!

    I will always remember those moments and cherish the memories in bright vivid detail.

    The entire journey of being a father AND a husband is hands down the best experience you could ever endure. I give my family 125% everyday and give them the love, attention, and more love that they deserve. I get excited to take them places that will make them cheer and see them smile, and we have movie nights with cuddles and warm hearts. With no real father figure in my life, I knew exactly, within reason, how to be a father and, better, yet a husband.

    Today I have 4 dogs, 2 boys, and a beautiful wife by my side. Fatherhood isn’t something you can describe or show someone else. You have to feel it to know that it’s the best thing that will ever happen in your lifetime.”

    – Dylan Martin

    Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email fatherfigures@thedad.com

    This Family’s Yearly ‘Real Life’ Christmas Cards Are Spectacular

    (Reddit/u/kakalacky_guy)

    Despite allegedly being all about joy, family, and an abundance of fuzzy feelings, Christmas can be a very stressful time of year

    Between wrangling heaps of presents for everyone, making sure your house exudes just the right amount of holiday cheer, and trying not to go too far into soul-crushing debt, people are lucky not to be completely exhausted or insane by New Years.

    Fortunately, in the midst of all the picture-perfect Christmas updates going around, the Stanleys of Charlotte, North Carolina are sending out photos that feature a bit more holiday realism.

    Since 2014, the family has been sending Christmas Cards that highlight the true (and often very stressful) joys of Christmas spent with two young boys. They even added a baby girl to the mix this year!

    (Reddit/u/kakalacky_guy)

    “The very first time we tried to take a ‘traditional’ Christmas card photo we had hilariously bad results,” Jonathan Stanley told Bored Panda.

    “We were new parents with a one-year-old and everything went wrong – baby cried the whole time, it was windy, the lighting kept changing, you name it. If two of us looked okay, the third one blinked. We laughed so hard at how bad the photos were that we decided just to send them out as is and our family loved it. From there the tradition was born – instead of trying to send perfect cards, we would send something that represented the chaos of parenting.”

    (Reddit/u/kakalacky_guy)

    “At first, I think my wife kind of rolled her eyes and said, ‘okay, we’ll try it,'” he said. “I had no idea if a staged scene would make sense or be funny, but we went for it and it just kind of worked. The kids love it, though when they see the final product I have to constantly remind them that it’s fake and to not try it in real life. I worry sometimes I am putting ideas into their heads!”

    (Reddit/u/kakalacky_guy)

    Jonathan says his goal is to make it look like it’s a perfect Christmas scenario, “as if it’s a Pottery Barn ad or something,” that has gone horribly awry.

    “I also take care to make sure its a realistic as possible – most of the scene is shot practically and I try to minimize the photoshop required to yield the best results. Today most people have a strong eye for recognizing when something is fake, so the goal is to make it just real enough that they question how we pulled it off.”

    (Reddit/u/kakalacky_guy)

    “The hardest part is getting the kids to look in the right place and hold the right pose – especially when they were younger,” Jonathan added. “We use a lot of tricks like putting bells on a pole and then holding it where their eyeline needs to be, etc.

    “Also, ensuring they don’t bump the tripod while we are shooting – easier said than done when you have two boys running around for an hour. We shoot each kid individually and then stitch it all together…but if the tripod gets bumped it ruins the effect and we have to start over.”

    (Reddit/u/kakalacky_guy)

    Obviously, the Stanleys have built quite a reputation at this point.

    “Our friends and family would be so disappointed if we went back to a normal card at this point. It’s also a great creative outlet and once the kids are a little older it will open up some crazy possibilities that aren’t feasible with a four-year-old and a baby.”

    “I think deep down everyone hates trying to get a photograph for a Christmas card,” he admits. “It’s near impossible if you have young children – so people appreciate a card that emphasizes the challenges of parenting vs. hiding them. Plus a lot of people seem to appreciate that the cards are a fun thing we do together as a family. After all, the family that plays together stays together!

    Emotional Harold Baines Remembers His Dad at Hall of Fame Induction [WATCH]

    (Getty/Ron Vesely)

    Over the course of his many years playing and coaching in the MLB, Harold Baines was known as a man of few words. His focus and mindset always seemed to be on the game.

    That perception changed soon after the ceremony where Baines was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

    During a post-event interview, Baines was asked who would be most proud and happy about his accomplishment. Baines mentioned his family and then immediately became emotional when talking about his father who passed away three years prior.

    With tears welling up in his eyes, Baines called his father “my hero.”

    Speaking later with NBC’s Chuck Garfien, he elaborated on his response and described his father’s unique relationship with baseball.

    “It’s hard (to talk about him),” Baines said. “It’s very hard. I think I played the game for him because he couldn’t. He was born too early. So I always felt I played the game for him. I love the game but it didn’t mean that much to me like it did to him.

    “I was fortunate enough to get drafted, and I just said, ‘I’m playing for him.'”

    Like Baines, his father was not a very expressive man but his love for the game and his son was apparent.

    “He didn’t show emotion,” he said. “I know he was proud.”

    Paternity Leave with Rob King | Ep.7 | What To Do With A Night Without Kids? | The Dad

    Rob has a little too much fun when he gets a night to himself. Also, actor John C. Reilly joins Paternity Leave for another “Celebrity Bedtime Stories.

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