Happy birthday, Miles!
You turned nine last weekend, and while we kept our celebration pretty low-key (immediate family only), I think you had a good time. Friday night I cooked your favorite dinner, linguine with homemade tomato sauce. Tobin was so excited to help you celebrate that he took part in decorating the dining room, so when you woke up Saturday morning, you saw your presents, balloons, and your sparkly number nine.
As your birthday comes so closely after Christmas, it was hard to find good birthday presents for you. We kept it simple, and you may see an unbirthday present or two once Tobin’s birthday comes in August. You seemed to enjoy your gifts, though, especially the Pokécoins your dad got you. I’m looking forward to helping you cash in your certificate for a Mom/Miles Java House date with snacks and games.
It seems like all you want to do anymore is play Prodigy, a web-based math game that you learned about in school and have continued to use at home. I think your favorite Christmas present was a paid membership, which apparently grants you some sort of further opportunities in the game. Pretty much every day, you and your friend Chloé chat via text and/or Facetime while you play Prodigy simultaneously.
Your friendship with Chloé is a fairly recent development, though you’ve known her for a while in school. In the last month or so, you two have really started hanging out a lot, mostly virtually, but you also trekked all the way to her house after school the other day for an impromptu playdate. We really need to get you a phone of some sort—friends recommend the Gizmo, which apparently allows you to do some rudimentary phone and text functions but without full functionality. It would have been a whole lot easier if you could have just called me to ask me if it was okay to go over to Chloé’s rather than have the both of you walk here, then walk all the way back to her house. She lives on the opposite side of the school, so it was a bit of a haul on a very cold day. Neither of you seemed to mind, though. Curious.
We did some fun stuff over break, including spending lots of time with lots of different family members and friends. You slept in almost every morning. You’re the latest sleeper in the family, and you really took advantage of the flexible schedule of vacation. You also have the strange habit of sleeping fully clothed. You own pajamas, including two new pairs you got for Christmas, but you still prefer to sleep in your jeans most nights. It doesn’t seem very comfortable to me, but you insist it’s the way to go.
One fun thing we did in Ames was go ice skating. Fortunately the ice rink had those little scootcher walker thingies, because you would have wiped out even more if you hadn’t had one. You maintained a good attitude, though, and you brushed yourself off every time and got back up. I was proud of your tenacity, even if your little newborn colt legs looked awfully spindly on those skates.
Photo by Beth Clarke
You’ve had a huge appetite lately, and we’re going to have to measure you soon, because I bet you’ve grown a lot in the last year. Your diet isn’t much more diverse than it ever has been, but I’m happy that you’ve become such a fan of homemade tomato sauce. Unfortunately last summer’s tomato harvest was pretty meager, so our freezer stash isn’t very big. I’m afraid we’ll be through it by March if you keep eating at your current rate.
This has been a big year for you, my dear Miles. You are continuing to grow academically and socially, and it makes me so happy to know you’re developing good friendships. Two of your school friends, your fellow members of Authors’ Club, jumped at my suggestion that they join you in an after-school creative writing class. That will begin in a couple of weeks, and I hope it’s fun and educational. We’re lucky to live in a community that has something to offer kids with all kinds of different interests. Even though you’ve never shown much enthusiasm about joining a sports team (with the possible exception of baseball, which we’ll try to get done this spring), you’ve been able to join after-school and weekend activities that help you explore your areas of interest. You have shown a recent spark for running on my treadmill, so maybe there’s track or cross-country in your future.
Photo by Denny
I hope this year is a great one for you, my blue-eyed son. Congratulations on all the new things you’ve tried this year, all the ways you’ve grown. I love your witty commentary and wild hair. As much as I want you to be my baby forever, I’m pretty excited to get to know the person you’re becoming.