As we press on through fall, you’ve stayed busy and mostly happy. You love your teacher (Miss Lampe), you seem to have some good friends (notably Esmé and Andrew), and you’re excited for Halloween coming up. I’ve been working hard on your costume, Odd Todd from the show Odd Squad. Only a small subset of the population is going to understand it, but you don’t seem to care a bit. It is a great gift to not care what others think, and I hope you can maintain that attitude.
You’re home sick from school today, suffering from one of the brief but intense fevers that have been ailing the short guys at our house over the last month. All three of you guys had it a couple of weeks ago, and then Callum got it again during our first day and night on our mini-vacation. We were confused by that—did he not actually have the same thing as you and Tobin during the first go-round? It seems there’s another, similar bug, and it’s your turn for that one. I know you don’t like missing school, and you especially don’t like missing your after-school 3D printing class, but you were definitely not feeling well today.
We desperately needed some supplies, including more children’s ibuprofen for your fever and aches, so you stayed home by yourself for the first time while the little guys and I ran to Hy-Vee. You were all set up to text me if you had any problems, but everything was fine. You said after we got back that you had forgotten we were gone. I worried about you the whole time, of course, and checked my phone every three minutes. It’s my job.
Though the weather may warm up again this weekend, we’ve had a dip into fall temperatures the last couple of days. It’s time for the hooded sweatshirts and sleeping in something more substantial than a t-shirt and underpants. You and Tobin had hot chocolate (with marshmallows AND whipped cream, because why not?) after our chilly walk home from school yesterday. I’ll be sad when it gets too cold to walk, because we’ve enjoyed our walks home. Often you stay at the school playground and get some play time in with your friend Hazel. I’m happy with your new school schedule this year. Last year, it was hard to have time to do any playing after school, but now that you’re done at 2:55, we can have some hangout time and still get home in time for you to practice piano and for me to get dinner going.
Despite Cal’s brief illness, we had a really good time on our trip to St. Louis. We went to the City Museum, and it was one of the most interesting and unusual places I’ve ever been. Every section was something completely different: we started in simulated caves with rocks and ladders and tanks of fish. Then we went to a more spacious area with ramps and half-pipes and swinging ropes, on which you and Tobin worked up quite a sweat. Then you went down some slides (though you decided to skip the 10-story one, and I can’t say I blame you). Then we went to the outside area, which had ball pits and real gutted airplanes to explore and miles of walkways. I don’t think we saw everything, but we used up everyone’s energy, and I’m sure we’ll be back some day.
We did some other very fun things too, including the Science Museum and the zoo. The first thing you wanted to see was the penguins, but they weren’t conveniently placed to see right away. We went through and saw many different animals, including two rhinos who almost got into a fight, though they kept it verbal. Finally, as we wound our way back to the exit, we came to the penguin cove. You were so excited, and you loved seeing the many variety of penguins swimming and hopping around in their well-chilled habitat. As you stood up against the glass watching them, one did a jump out of the water and landed with a big splash all over you. You thought it was hilarious and a perfect way to end the day.
Our other favorite destination was Clementine’s Ice Cream, a cute little artisanal shop a short walk from our rented townhouse. We went there twice, once on our own and once after having dinner with some friends. You tried something new that I wasn’t sure you’d go for—coconut chocolate fudge vegan ice “cream.” You liked it so much you got it both times. You also liked the fact that Lafayette Park, also very near our townhouse, had a lot of PokeStops. I don’t know exactly what those are, but Pokémon Go occupies about 40% of your brain right now, and I guess PokeStops are good.
You’ve finally agreed to get a haircut, not because you believed your dad and me when we said your hair was getting ridiculous, but because it’s grown longer than Odd Todd’s and you want verisimilitude. That’s my Miles. You don’t care about anyone’s opinion, but you care about the truth.
By this time next month, we’ll have a president-elect. I can only dearly hope that the nation continues its current trajectory of seeing Donald Trump for the bigoted, lying, cheating, sexual predator he is. We talked a little bit about Trump’s recently surfaced comments bragging about sexually assaulting women. I try to frequently reiterate in an age-appropriate way that you must never, ever touch someone who doesn’t want to be touched. I don’t think Donald Trump’s parents ever told him that. I don’t know if you care about my opinion, but since you care so much about the truth, I think you’ll believe me.
I love you, my dear Miles. Keep your compass pointed truthward,