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.

    Music Video Shows People With Down Syndrome Living Their Best Lives [WATCH]

    (Facebook/Wouldn't Change A Thing)

    World Down Syndrome Day is here!

    Today is the day when those with Down Syndrome, as well as those who live and work with them, come together to raise public awareness and create a single global voice, advocating for the right, inclusion and well being of those with Down Syndrome.

    The parent-led Down Syndrome awareness organization “Wouldn’t Change a Thing” is focused on creating a world where negative and inaccurate perceptions of Down Syndrome are a thing of the past.

    This year, the organization created a video to the tune of Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” to highlight the ways in which people with Down Syndrome of all ages enjoy and achieve in life.


    “This video project lets the fulfilling lives of young people with Down Syndrome do the talking,” they wrote in the description. “It holds up a mirror to society and dares the viewer to challenge everything they thought they knew about Down Syndrome, and to think again.”

    Want to show the organization your support? Check out their Facebook page and don’t forget to use #wouldntchangeathing

    Bill & Ted Face The Music as Middle Aged Dads in 2020 [WATCH]

    Bill & Ted Teaser Announcement
    (Twitter/BillandTed3)

    You know those guys you knew in high school or college who you could never imagine having kids? Maybe they were burnouts or jelly butts, or maybe they just didn’t seem like they’ ever grow up? We all knew guys like that, and wouldn’t you know it, as unlikely as it seemed at the time, they ended up getting older too!

    In related news, Bill S. Preston, Esquire and Ted “Theodore” Logan – Bill and Ted – are coming back in a new movie, and in it, they’re middle-aged dads. And we are all officially old men.

    That’s right, a third Bill and Ted movie is coming soon to a theater near you, written by the screenwriters of the first two flicks, with original stars Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves reprising their famous roles. But things are a little different this time because while Wyld Stallyns remain together, they’re now – wait for it – middle-aged dads! And you thought they went through hell in BOGUS JOURNEY!

    Strange things are afoot at the Circle K.

    Seeing those two as parents is going to be something. Especially without the guidance of the late great George Carlin as Rufus! Here’s hoping they’re not quite as airheaded as they used to be.

    Today, the duo went on Twitter to thank fans and officially announce that the film – Bill and Ted Face the Music – will be released on August 21st, 2020.

    In the short video, Winter says the film is a result of all the fan support: “It is all because of you guys, so we owe you a huge debt of gratitude and we want to say thank you.”


    The official synopsis, from the press release:

    Yet to fulfill their rock’n’roll destiny, the now middle-aged best friends set out on a new adventure, when a visitor from the future warns them that only their song can save life as we know it and bring harmony to the universe. Along the way, they will be helped by their families, old friends and a few music legends.

    Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time In Hollywood Trailer Is Here [WATCH]

    Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
    (YouTube/Sony Pictures Entertainment)

    A new Quentin Tarantino movie is always an occasion. A new Leonardo DiCaprio movie is too. A new Quentin Tarantino/Leonardo DiCaprio collaboration that also stars Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie, takes place in late 60s Hollywood, and features a story-line that somehow includes Bruce Lee and Charles Manson?

    I’ve already bought my tickets.

    ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD is Tarantino’s 9th flick and his first since THE HATEFUL EIGHT in 2015. A lot has happened since then. Tarantino’s benefactor and friend, Harvey Weinstein was outed as ground zero for the #metoo movement and his studio was shuttered. The director himself ran into some trouble regarding past statements defending Roman Polanski and PULP FICTION star Uma Thurman’s airing of grievances over the abusive treatment she received on the set of KILL BILL.

    But today Tarantino is back in the news for his work, as the sun-dappled first trailer for his new movie landed on YouTube and looks to be a heck of a good time. The teaser trailer even makes it look a little like it might be the writer/director’s first comedy, the many hilarious moments and quotable lines from his previous films notwithstanding.

    Then again, Charles Manson (played by Damon Herriman, aka the affable idiot Dewey on Justified) shows up, and Margot Robbie is portraying Sharon Tate, the young starlet who was infamously murdered by Manson and his acolytes. So maybe “comedy” is a bit too strong a word.

    Here’s the official plot synopsis:

    A faded TV actor (Leo) and his stunt double (Brad) strive to achieve fame and success in the film industry during the final years of Hollywood’s Golden Age in 1969 Los Angeles.

    One thing’s for sure – everyone in the cast seems to be having a great time, and we didn’t even catch a glimpse of co-stars Al Pacino (his first QT joint!), Kurt Russell, the late Luke Perry, and typical Tarantino stalwarts Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, and more.

    I can’t wait to see this thing. It hits theaters on July 26th.

    Watch the fun teaser trailer:

    Stranger Things 3 Trailer: Being A Teenager Sucks With/Without Monsters

    StrangerThingsCover
    (YouTube)

    It’s tough being a teen, no doubt about it.

    Hormones, first jobs, mind-flaying monsters from another universe, homework. It’s no wonder kids can be so moody.

    The full trailer for Stranger Things Season 3 has dropped, and boy howdy do those Hawkins kids not know how to stay out of inter-dimensional trouble. From this new trailer we can see that Eleven, Mike, Lucas, Dustin and Will are spending their 1985 summer coping with some feelings we saw begin to develop at the end of last season that anyone familiar with high schoolers will recognize. Primarily: Angst. Deep, unrelenting angst. But the Upside Down isn’t done with our heroes just yet, and they’ll have to band together to save the universe during the #BestSummerEver

    Max is still a part of the gang, sharing slumber party dance parties with Eleven, because no evil force in the universe can stand against the unbridled emotion of a teenager’s slumber party, while her jerk brother seems to have gotten the ultimate jerk brother summer job as a lifeguard. (Editor’s Note: The Dad doesn’t believe life guards are jerks. It’s just a thing in movies and shows for some reason.)

    The highlight of the trailer is world’s greatest honorary dad Steve Harrington sword fighting and fist bumping with Dustin at his mall job. Steve gets an eye roll from his coworker, but how dare you judge a man for showing his adoptive son affection, lady?

    This season is set during 1985, meaning Back To The Future is a strong contender for a pop cultural touchstone, the way Ghostbusters was in season 2. The Duffer brothers have also commented that Chevy Chase’s classic P.I. farce, Fletch played a heavy role in influencing this season. Could that suggest a lighter tone in Hawkins this time around?

    Whatever happens, the shot of the kids putting up a radio tower to the beat of an 80’s Baba O’Riley, plus the season’s tagline make it abundantly clear this season is a summer vacation adventure. We can’t wait for July 4th.

    Mom Vents About Son’s Hilarious School Photos, Ends Up Going Viral

    (Facebook/Stronajai Miles)

    Despite how thoroughly you iron their shirt or perfectly part their hair, there is simply too much time between when your kid leaves for school and when they sit down for their school photos. Any number of things could happen to jeopardize your little angel’s perfect picture—a ketchup stain from lunch, tousled hair during gym, or, in this very specific case, a magnificent roar.

    When Stronajai Miles came across Andrew’s school photos while going through his backpack, she was less than thrilled to discover her kindergartener’s fierce as hell pose.

    “I saw the photos and I was like, ‘Oh my God, Drew!’ It was a blood-curdling scream that ran through the house. Like what is this?” Stronajai said.

    Obviously annoyed, Stonaraji’s logged in to Facebook to share the photos along with a mini vent session against Lifetouch School Photography, the company who took Andrew’s photo that day.

    What she did not expect was for the photos to start going viral almost immediately.

    After her conversations with representatives from Lifetouch, Stronajai wrote a follow-up post voicing her appreciation for both her son’s wonderful personality and all the positive feedback that helped open her eyes to how everything doesn’t need to be “cookie cutter” perfect when you have kids.


    As for Andrew, he still loves his school photos and thinks all the love he’s been getting, as a result, is just icing on the cake.

    And he does not have plans to stop roaring any time soon.

    (Facebook/Stronajai Miles)

    Father Figures: Heart Deceleration

    “I’ve always wanted to be a dad.

    Back in 1st grade, when they ask you what you want to be when you grow up, my answer was a dad. To me, dads are superheroes. Super strength, lightning speed, endless wisdom hidden under puns, a being so powerful the scariest monsters under the bed wouldn’t dare to mess with him. I wanted that.

    In July of 2015, I got my wish.

    My wife said, “It’s time to go.” We rushed into the car and a block away from the hospital I see the red and blue police lights behind me. I stop and yell back to the cop “My wife is in labor! If you’re gonna give me a ticket then do what you gotta do but give it to me a block up the road, I gotta go!” I hit the gas thinking he was gonna think I’m fleeing but he turned his lights off and turned around.

    We get up to the room and are listening to the endless beep of my son’s heart monitor on my wife’s belly. All of a sudden the room goes silent….

    “Did he move?”
    “I don’t know.”
    “Well, turn on your side or something.”
    “Hunny, you should go get the nurse.”

    I open the door and immediately got trampled by 12 nurses and doctors rushing in. Everyone starts calling out medical jargon, hooking up tubes, giving my wife oxygen, and most importantly: IGNORING MY QUESTIONS.

    I yell “What’s going on?!” And the doctor says “Your son’s heart has stopped. It’s called a Heart Deceleration.”

    The next 4 minutes felt like 40 years, and at that moment, I knew what it felt like to be a dad. To immediately be willing to trade places with my child, no matter the circumstances. To feel like I would go through anyone, even God himself, to protect my child. To this day I can’t even type out this story without breaking down into tears. It was the scariest moment of my life.

    The doctors are able to get my son’s heart back pumping and it turns out the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck three times, which is what caused the Decel.

    My son Ryan was born at 10:46pm on July 15th.”

    – Jacob Hord

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

    Mario Kart Mobile Game Announced So You Can Pwn Your Kids on the Go

    (Nintendo)

    Grab your banana peels and variously-colored turtle shells—Mario Kart is coming to your mobile phone!

    Nintendo made the announcement on Twitter in late January and ‘Kart’ fans everywhere are buzzing.

    The game company tweeted:

    The checkered flag has been raised and the finish line is near. A new mobile application is now in development: Mario Kart Tour! Releasing in the fiscal year ending in March 2019.

    Unfortunately, the company recently delayed the game for a summer 2019 release “in order to improve quality of the application and expand the content offerings after launch,” but it is still most definitely on its way.

    So far, Nintendo’s foray into the mobile gaming scene has been pretty hit-or-miss.

    Its first mobile Mario title, Super Mario Run, launched in December 2016 and broke serious records with over 200 million downloads; however, according to analytics company App Annie, the very few paid the $10 it cost to access to the full game.

    Other mobile Nintendo titles include Fire Emblem Heroes (2017), Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp (2017), and Dragalia Lost (2018), and an upcoming Dr. Mario title is expected to release for iOS and Android devices by mid-2019, just in case destroying them in virtual kart races isn’t enough.

    Imagine pwning your kids at Mario Kart on mobile while inside a Mario World theme park? I can’t wait for the future!

    The Gang Is Back for One Last Adventure in Toy Story 4 [WATCH TRAILER]

    Toy Story 4 Trailer
    (YouTube/Diney Pixar)

    It’s hard to remember now, but there was a time when Pixar wasn’t a thing. There was a time when there wasn’t a new animated blockbuster emanating from the computer-animation studio every year or so to delight kids, impress adults, and basically make everyone cry. Nowadays, Pixar’s movies are among the most anticipated releases every summer, and this summer is no different.

    Almost 25 years after their debut, Woody, Buzz and the gang are back for their final adventure in Toy Story 4.

    The first Toy Story kicked off Pixar’s unprecedented run of animated blockbusters, which went on to include beloved flicks like Monsters Inc., Up, Inside Out, and the two Incredibles movies. And now the original cast of characters is back!

    Last time around, the toys said goodbye to their beloved Andy, who grew up and went to college in Toy Story 3. The crew narrowly avoided a sinister daycare and a terrifying incinerator and safely landed in little Bonnie’s room. But the new movie finds them separated and embark on a road trip to reunite.

    But does Woody want to?

    Spurred on by Bonnie’s new toy, an arts and crafts creation/abomination named Forky, Woody ends up in an amusement park, loaded with rides, games, and countless kids every single day. And this time, tempted by old friend Little Bo Peep, Woody might not want to leave. But Buzz and friends are determined to bring their pal back.

    Check out the full-length trailer, and try not to cry: