My dear Miles,
Your feet are huge. We need to get you a new sock wardrobe, because the size 4/5 socks that have fit for a long time due to their stretchiness are getting dangerously tight. I look at those big-kid feet and I remember your tiny baby toes. Jellybean toes, I called them, because each one was just a tiny little pellet I wanted to nibble.
March 2008 (age 2 months)
Now, most afternoons, I look down at your feet and see that you’re only wearing one sock. You say that your socks rub your feet uncomfortably. That’s reasonable. The strange part is that it’s only ever one foot. It makes it hard to match up socks when I’m folding laundry, because rarely do they go into the same hamper at the same time.
You’re finishing up your last weeks as a preschooler now. That’s tough to fathom. I’m feeling much less overwrought about kindergarten than I did about preschool, probably because you don’t seem nervous about it at all. You did great at kindergarten round-up. A couple of your school friends and some neighborhood friends will be at the same school as you. It will be tough to leave Willowwind, because you had a great experience there, but I know it’s prepared you well for your future. You’ll take some summer school classes at Willowwind, but those are separate from the preschool program. You’re ready to move up to the big time.
You’re really excited about Uncle Tyler’s upcoming wedding. Dancing at weddings is pretty much your favorite thing ever, and you’re psyched about the new clothes you got for the occasion. We’ll swim in the hotel pool, maybe go to the zoo and the children’s museum, and then spend some time back in Ames with Mubby and Skittergramps. It’ll be a nice mini-vacation, since we may not do anything else this summer.
Gardening has been one of your preferred hobbies lately. You helped me plant some carrot seeds (which still haven’t sprouted) and you did some indoor planting of flower seeds at school and a kit Mubby got you.
You eat a lot of Wheat Thins. You drink a lot of lemonade.
You still need a firm routine. Last night it was getting pretty late, and you and your dad and Tobin were hanging out in bed reading stories. Your dad noticed the time and said that the stories he was reading you counted as your bedtime stories. You burst into tears because Mommy always reads you stories. And Daddy wasn’t reading the right bedtime stories (currently Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Tarzan, and 101 Dalmatians).
Those are long stories, and you tend to interrupt a lot. But we didn’t fight you on that one, because, really, am I ever going to look back and think, “I’m sure glad I skipped reading those stories to Miles so he’d go to bed fifteen minutes earlier”? You got all your stories, in the right order, read by Mommy. I like our rituals too.
We had our big choir concert. I was so proud of you—how brave and confident and attentive you were. You’ve always been attentive. At rehearsals, when the other kids were running around being squirrelly, you always sat quietly, playing with my phone until it was the kids’ turn to sing, and then you were immediately focused and ready to sing. I worried a little that you weren’t making friends, but by the end, you’d gotten to know quite a few of the other kids. Also, by the end, you no longer needed to be in constant physical contact with me. During the rehearsal period, I sometimes had to stand in the soprano section (gasp) because you were too shy to stand with the kids unless I was right there with you. But you got over that and were just fine joining the kids onstage for the kids-only numbers in our concert. You even added some choreography.
Photo by Gary Clarke
Gabe, one of the big kids, was your total role model. He’s a really sweet guy, and he was so kind and friendly to you. He’s going to be a fifth grader at your elementary school, so I’m glad you’ll have an older buddy around the halls.
Photo by Gary Clarke
You have a whole repertoire of songs you like to sing, and they’ve fully infiltrated Tobin’s brain, too. We play them in the car, all of us singing along, and I’m so glad we got to share our choir experience. You have a good musical ear, I think. You like to study the sheet music. You’re taking a drum class this summer, and I hope there’s a little music theory in there.
Your reading is really taking off too. You’ve had a good basic handle of reading for a long time, but you have a perfectionist streak that makes you reluctant to try when you’re not sure (this is also what led us to taking you to an optometrist because of how you failed the eye chart test at the doctor’s office—it turns out you could see it, but you didn’t want to say because you might be wrong). But you and your dad have been working with the letter blocks a lot, and last night you read the dedication in your Disney storybook with almost no help.
Soon you’re going to be reading over my shoulder, and I’m not going to be able to skip chunks of the stories anymore. Maybe you will have moved on to something a little more compelling by then. You’re probably still too young for Harry Potter, but maybe I can find a chapter book for us to read together at night. I’m glad you’re not ready to tuck yourself in yet.
You got a haircut last weekend, and your dad told me he overheard you telling the stylist, “Don’t cut off too much. My mom likes my curls.” Yes, I do, my sweet boy. I love your curls, and I love your smile, and I love your pointy elbows that always seem to jab into my muscles, and I love your enormous feet.
Photo by Denny Crall
I will still need you, I will still feed you, when you’re sixty-four (months).