I would like to personally thank you for the gray hairs on my head that are most certainly your doing. The crease lines on my forehead? Definitely you. I realized at some point this year that I often scrunch up my face and give you a quizzical expression when you’re talking. You talk a lot so I must be making this face more times than I’m aware, hence the facial lines. As you get older, you’re becoming more vibrant as I begin to whither like a flower in December. There’s only one explanation–you’re sucking the life right out of me.
We also laugh a lot. You’re a pretty funny guy even when you’re not trying. You’re a natural entertainer. The 16Personalities test proved this to be true. You’re the exact opposite of me. So much so that I can’t believe I’m raising such a charismatic, outgoing small man-boy. You enjoy being around people, you love meeting new people, you like public speaking. You’re everything I avoid. This past Covid year was the hardest for you. You need to be around people. You come alive in social settings. When school shifted to remote learning, it was a struggle but you’re also pretty easy going. Shocking I know, given how difficult of a baby-infant-toddler you were. You embraced every moment when you could interact with another albeit even if it was online. I could hear you from the other room entertaining away much to the teacher’s chagrin. School projects shifted from in-person presentations to videos and online presentations and you handled it with utmost pride, poise and with an accent. I believe your fourth grade teacher said it best when she said “Miles is a kick in the pants”. I couldn’t have said it better myself.
You have taken your love of baseball to the next level joining not one, but two baseball teams. One is a tournament team and the other is a local fall ball team. Summer tournament baseball was a lot of fun and you wanted to keep it going. Dad tried to get something locally going and when that didn’t pan out, we decided to give another team a try. It’s with a completely different group of kids spanning several cities. You knew nobody going into it. To you, these kids were your opponents in the summer time but now, they were your new family. These moments of unknown are not challenging or scary for you. Remember, you’re the kid that loves getting to know new people. These are people who have never heard your jokes before! If only they knew what was coming. You have folded in just fine. You’re establishing yourself as one of the loudest, chattiest ballplayers this club has ever seen. Tournaments are a grind and we often find ourselves exhausted beyond comprehension on a Sunday night but it’s also the most fun seeing you out there on the field seemingly living your best life ever surrounded by other like minded kids like you. A most terrifying statement when you think there are others out in the world who are talking and thinking like Miles…
With you returning to in-person school this year, I find the house so much quieter. Do you ever find yourself incredibly tense with your shoulders scrunched up around your ears for seemingly no reason and suddenly a far off noise, such as a leaf blower, turns off and your body suddenly releases? The sudden jack-hammering in your head ceases to exist and you can breathe a sigh of relief? Yes, you feel it? That’s my present state. You’re a human white noise machine–constantly humming, singing, talking, beeping, booping, all. of. the. time. I almost forgot what silence was like until you left the house. Oh sweet, Lord. It’s glorious!
When I look back on this past year, there’s nothing obvious that stands out as exceptional or extraordinary. Although, I would agree it’s the sum of the parts that make it interesting. We didn’t go on an epic international vacation but we did go camping. It was bougie camping but camping nonetheless. We went to Yosemite and Mendocino. Both included lots of hiking, bathroom breaks and an abundance of episodes where you exhibited a general fear of nature–you know, chipmunks, butterflies and banana slugs. One must also not forget your fear for the pack of wild raccoons that trolled our campground in Mendocino. I don’t think you slept at all those two nights we were there. You slept on the bottom bunk and had a direct line of sight to the bottom of the door which was slightly open to the outside. You were adamant that a pack of raccoon ruffians would break in and snatch you to make you their raccoon king. I envisioned it and it would have certainly made for an entertaining evening. We reassured you that the raccoons were not interested in us and would not be coming into the tent. The next morning while Dad was in line for the bathroom, he overheard another camper talking about how a raccoon had gotten into his tent during the night and couldn’t get out and made a mess in the process. I guess raccoons can get in. We would like to return to said campground so we have not shared this story with you as of yet. We will however, make sure we wipe you down before bed so the raccoons can’t smell the crumbs on you.
It’s odd raising a boy. I didn’t have brothers nor did I have close friends who were boys so I’m not exactly privy to the whole tween boy phenomenon. I look to Ryan because I have no idea what is happening or what’s to come. I am totally in the dark so when certain things happen, like a sudden infatuation with Dua Lipa, it derails me a little bit. You took art very seriously last year, especially portraits. Dua Lipa portraits to be precise. I’m not going to lie, I was impressed. Such detail and accuracy applied to each drawing. Did I have another budding artist on my hands? One could only hope.
I found myself at your computer–you asked for my help logging into your Google classroom. Google likes to show the recently viewed pages. I quickly glanced and noticed a suspicious page with an icon of a bomb next to it. I helped Miles with his task and he left the room. Curious me decided to take a gander. Low and behold, it was porn. What witchcraft brought my baby boy to this? It’s too soon! What is wrong with the internet?!? I immediately showed your Dad the page that was most visited he was pleasantly surprised at my endeavors until I told him it was the doing of his son. The gasps! The oh-no’s! The what-the-fuck’s! It was time for a little chat because I sure as Hell have no idea what is normal and acceptable here. My only word of advice to your Dad was, don’t make him feel uncomfortable and make sure he respects women.
To sum up the next part, Dad had a talk with you in the car ride to lacrosse. According to Dad, you looked out the window, grinned a lot and acknowledged you were listening. Your Dad did throw in the bit about respecting women and asked you, how would you feel if you saw your sister and Mom on that site? So great, that image was presented. God willing, you should be celibate for the next twenty years or so.
So here we are. You’re turning eleven whopping years old. I’m going to be cliche for a moment and say it feels just like yesterday you exploded into this world and the only thing that slowed you down was a tightly wrapped swaddle by a dear nurse with what I could only imagine were very strong hands because I never came close to that swaddle. You are a pain in my ass and a sparkle in my eye if that makes any sense at all. Goodness, you can even make Liv laugh which is a hard nut to crack. Your personality is vibrant and contagious. You’re still learning when to lay it on and when to pull it back but that’s humor baby. The jokes can’t always be gold! We love you absolutely and completely. Swing away and delete your browser history for Christ’s sake.
2 responses to “Month 132, Version 2.0”
I loved learning about Miles! I’m Nikitha’s mom and she talks about Miles every day. It would be great to have a playdate in the park for them – let me know what you think 🙂
Thank you so much for the kind words 🙂 I’m sorry I didn’t see your comment sooner. Miles considers Nikitha a good friend and would love to meet up sometime at the park. Just let us know when!