I’m always amazed to see how much you and Olivia have grown over the course of the summer. As this summer winds down, I’ve had several moments to sit back and reflect on all that has happened and it was a lot. First, let’s take a look back at Olivia’s swim team participation this year because despite you not swimming, you still were all sorts of awesome at the pool. You still have no interest in swimming which I’m totally fine with. I see no reason why you should be forced to participate in a sport that you have no love for. Once again you were Mr. Social, making friends with anyone and everyone. Last year, you didn’t take to anyone too much and spent most of the practices and meets at our camp, being bored out of your mind. This year, upon entering the pool, I could hear people yelling out “Miles” immediately and before we could set our stuff down, you were off with your posse, pilliaging other people’s tents for food and entertainment.
You had a core group of friends that consisted of the sort much like you: brothers who are not swimming and are forced to come along anyway and cheer on their sisters. Often times you would disappear for hours with your friends. I wasn’t too concerned because our pool is enclosed and you know to not leave the pool area. We would check on your whereabouts every so often and would most times find you in another person’s tent, most often eating. I was surprised to discover you walk by one morning with a bunch of teen boys who seemed to have adopted you as one of their own. The true moment came at the end of the swim season when you became quite attached to a preteen girl named Laine. What’s even more surprising is watching this young girl actually enjoy your company. You were quite smitten and the two of you remained inseparable those final days. Ah, summer love. It does start at an early age, doesn’t it?
The swim team did their best to make the kids have fun by holding theme days which requested that swimmers and family members dress up. One particular swim meet, the theme was “dress-up like your favorite coach.” Olivia was very excited to dress up as Coach Jon after finding a giant straw hat at the fair so we dressed her up and immediately upon arriving at the pool, determined she didn’t like the attention and wanted to change asap. You being one who doesn’t mind the attention at all, was waiting ever so patiently for Olivia to remove the last item in which you swooped in and declared you were happy to don the attire. We dressed you up and you immediately took to character, following the coaches around like their shadows. You helped lead the team meeting, you participated in the group cheer, wished the swimmers good luck and proceeded to follow the coaches to the end of the pool where you stayed for the duration of the meet, placing swimmers in their designated lanes and reminding them of the events they were swimming. From this day until the end of the season, you were to known to everyone as Coach Miles. Despite all this, when asked if you would be joining the Green Gator swim team year, you quietly replied with, “No. I like baseball.”
Between swim team and myself going back to work, you were left with very little time to participate in any extracurricular activities. You didn’t seem to mind so much as long as you could play with your friends outside after dinner. You’re a kid who really requires very little and I appreciate that. I very much am thankful that you know when you need time away from your sister and you quietly disappear to your room where you will remain for an hour or so. You make a mess like nobody’s business and this has been the source of many disagreements between us this summer but I’ve learned that you are deeply motivated by the chance to play outside with your friends so I use this to my benefit. No clean, no play. You understand very well and I’ve never seen you pick up a mess faster.
When my work contract no longer required me to go into the office, I realized that a great deal of the summer had passed without us having no real family trip/vacation. With it being the middle of summer, most destinations and airfare were quite expensive so we decided to take a road trip to Colorado to visit Auntie Lauren and Uncle Matt and meet their sweet new baby boy, Micah. I’ll get into much greater detail about our trip at a later time but we were quite nervous as to how you and Olivia would handle so much time in the car. Perhaps your dad and I did a really good job of hyping up the trip, the myriad of activities in the car or the sense of adventure that was laid out upon us. What ever it was, you and Olivia seemed to enjoy yourselves. Probably one of my many favorite moments of the trip came before the trip even started. We had to hit the road early so I woke you up around 3:45am. As I attempted to quietly wake you, you awoke with a face full of sleep and hair tousled and looked at me with a huge smile and with a tiny squeaky voice said “this is going to be awesome!”
We had few problems on the trip but when they arose, it was typically due to me forcing you to pull yourself from the car to take a picture beside what ever random roadside attraction I discovered. Olivia is quickly climbing the ranks as my favorite child for she at least humors me. You did tend to fall asleep quickly in the car so you at least have that going for you.
The first day of school is rapidly approaching and this will mark the first time that both you and Olivia are in school every day. I’ve been waiting for this moment since you were born but now that the day is here, I’m a wee bit sad. You don’t realize how quiet a house can become until your children are absent. As I sit back at the house dealing with a roller-coaster of emotion, you will be happily taking a seat in DK or developmental kindergarten if you’re not in the know. You’re prepared, ecstatic and a little aloof which I think are all acceptable traits to exhibit when entering the public school system. I’m confident you will do very well. You will no doubt steal many hearts with your charismatic ways. Just promise me not to steal anything else.