Well, well, well. Who is this smiling exuberant boy in front of me? You have the same short-legged stocky stature like my son but the personality surely is not the same. No, you certainly cannot be my son because my son doesn’t throw a tantrum and then seek me out to apologize for his behavior. My son can’t possibly be the one the teachers are referring to when they speak of a boy who has become the social epicenter of the Awesome Alligators classroom–the boy who has apparently been very instrumental in helping new kids feel welcome and comfortable among their new surroundings. Really? Miles?! You know this boy here is Miles, right? Have we turned a corner? Has someone in the universe taken pity on my soul? Are we transforming in to a loving child that I always envisioned myself having?
I have been an eye witness to this new and improved Miles and it’s amazing to watch it unfold in front of my eyes. You were just a different boy–tantrums, endless crying, fighting, hissing, demonic possession in a nutshell and now you appear to be a kid who is starting to understand boundaries and self control and what it takes to not be crazy. I’m not saying tantrums have stopped all together but my goodness, even if we reduced the number by ten percent, we’re still golden. When your teachers mentioned how amazing you were with your new classmates–showing them around, introducing them to your other classmates–I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact of you taking on that role. It’s true you make friends relatively easy at the park but never did I envision you as the ambassador type.
We were playing outside in the front yard when I watched this new and improved Miles take control. Our neighbor, Pete, had his grandson visiting and it was clear by his laser focused stares and his encroachment on you and the other neighborhood kids, that he wanted to participate. I gave you a heads up that there was a new friend who might want to play with you and you quickly said hello and welcomed him over. When more friends started to approach, knowing that the new friend didn’t know anyone else besides you, you grabbed his hand and walked with him over to the other kids. You placed one hand on his shoulder and announced, this is Noah. He’s our new friend and he’s going to play with us. The rest of the neighborhood accepted him and the rest of the evening was spent playing together. I could not have been more proud of you. I’ve watched Olivia become a social nightmare in situations involving other human beings so it’s comforting to know at least one of my children can handle social interactions without trying to crawl back inside their bodies. Believe me, I’m very empathetic to Olivia’s shyness because she’s a lot like me in this area but the awkwardness kills me. Really, a small piece of me actually dies when I watch her socialize. You’re very confident and this is very apparent when watching you with other children. You take command of situations and you can certainly hold your own when surrounded by older children. Yes, Miles the ambassador has a lovely ring to it.
In addition to you becoming Mr. Social, you are finally old enough to join the city of Dublin’s teeball league. We really wanted to enroll you in this program last year but you weren’t old enough. Seeing these kids play, I think you would have been just fine in the program last year. Most of these kids appear to be just learning what baseball is and you’re yelling out, foul tip, on deck circle and yes, coach, I bat left. You’re excited to play but you want more out of it. You want to hit the ball more than once and you want to run more than one base when you get a decent hit. You were somewhat disappointed when you saw how this particular league works but after a few weeks in and getting to know some of the other kids, you just seem happy to be out there. You have a real interest in baseball–I can imagine even if you had to play the game in a dress, you would still be having fun. Of course there is a kid who doesn’t understand personal space or teamwork for that matter and your dad has vowed to “take down the little shit” if he steals another ball from your glove. I’m prepared to take video of any and all events pertaining to this. See, your dad’s got your back.
Between getting back in to a routine with school and extracurricular activities and with your dad working a lot, I was determined to make a family day happen. Man, when you two were younger and dad worked from home, we had loads of these days. We were certainly more spontaneous compared to now. I think we’re just really tired and usually the last thing we want to do on the weekends is sit in a car or listen to the two of you complain about sitting in a car. Determined to bring this family together, I decided we should hit the road for some apple-picking. You two seemed pretty stoked until we were in the car for twenty minutes and we still had not arrived at our destination. To add to our two hour journey, I also decided to make a wrong turn directly in to standstill traffic which added another thirty minutes. We arrive and perhaps the traffic took the wind out of my sails or perhaps it was the lack of fruit on the trees but apple-picking just didn’t seem enjoyable this time around. Despite being open since Labor Day, the farms weren’t very crowded and most of the fruit was already gone. Even our beloved apple pie shop seemed sad with an empty parking lot and a for sale sign on the property. Perhaps apple-picking is really only fun a couple times and then it’s just manual labor. As I’m picking the fruit, I realize I just drove two and a half hours to buy apples that I could have bought at the grocery store for $3.25 a pound. The trip wasn’t a total fart–you were pretty excited about pissing on our car tire on the side of the road when we couldn’t find a bathroom. I’ll have to keep this mind for when I plan the next big outing. Perhaps a trip to a barnyard or a rest stop will be more to your liking.
This month truly has been a glorious month of many firsts and I’m so relieved to see you becoming a happy social young man. What a relief it is that you might not be after all, that awkward adult who throws himself on the ground in a fit of rage and pisses himself. I had serous concerns there for a while. You learned how to ride a bike this month and there might have been some motivation in the form of receiving a new bike for your birthday if you learned to ride with pedals. Much like your sister, you quickly got on the bike, rode it, threw it on the ground and declared you were ready to redeem your prize. You two know exactly how to get the things you want.
In addition to mastering a bicycle in a blink of an eye, you are also strangely good at Wii bowling. I brought out the Wii in a moment of despair–surely a moment when you and your sister couldn’t leave each other alone so like a responsible parent, I shoved video games in your face as a plea to engage in quiet cooperative play. You picked it up insanely fast. So much that the rest of us are standing around confused at the child prodigy standing before us. You line up your shots and throw with insane precision leaving Olivia fuming once again. You should really sleep with one eye open. Hell hath no fury like a crazy jealous sister or something like that.
You are surprisingly confident for such a short little man and you have a force within you that pulls people in. You and Olivia are so different that it will be amazing to watch how you two grow up and deal with situations. I predict Olivia will dislike you a lot for your outgoing nature and hopefully you don’t become a douche with your confidence. We’ve all seen the dumb jock who is loved by all but who is also dopey as hell and doesn’t know how to tie his shoes. Don’t become that guy. Sure, instead of calling the letter ‘M’ by what it is, you instead call that letter, ‘lmnop.’ Let’s hope this is just a cute three year old moment and it’s not a foreshadowing in to your future. Please, pretty please, don’t be a Joey. If you have to ask me who Joey is, you’ve just been written from my life. End of story.