Monthly Miles Memo #121

Filed under: — Aprille @ 4:58 pm

Dear Miles,

You started out this month with a birthday party.  We haven’t typically done individual birthday parties, instead doing our big group backyard party in the summer, but I thought for a kid’s big 1-0 he ought to have a shindig.  Rather than a cake, you chose a sundae bar, and you and a couple of your best friends piled on the toppings to the extent that the ice cream seemed incidental.  You also did some drawing of comics and playing of video games, and I think you all had a good time.

Watching and listening to you interact with your friends (especially Jacob) made it clear that you influence one another.  Many of the irritating little tropes you’ve picked up (“Exaaaaaactly;” “I didn’t know that.  I learned something new today”) sounded eerily familiar coming out of Jacob’s mouth.  I bet you two drive your teacher crazy.

It doesn’t bother me too much, though.  Jacob’s a good kid, and if you have fun together, that’s what matters.  I’d be interested to see if his house is also covered in hastily-drawn comics.  You are a lot more text-driven than art-driven, and to be honest a lot of times I don’t even get the text.  You like to use abbreviations and substitutions (e.g., wut for what, 2 for to), which makes them difficult to read for someone accustomed to traditional spelling.  Also, the plots borrow heavily from video games I don’t play.  Zelda has become a fixture in our home.

A recent big adventure was a trip to the Englert Theater for a performance by Nate Staniforth.  He’s a magician and from Ames like me.  In fact, his dad was my dentist growing up.  I’ve heard nothing but great things about his shows, so when I was shopping for your annual Christmas gift of theater tickets, I was quick to reserve seats for his show.  I was mildly concerned because the theater website said the show wasn’t recommended for kids under thirteen, but after asking around, I decided it would be okay for you and Tobin.  It was definitely the right choice.  The only potentially objectionable issue was some salty language, but only in an off-the-cuff way, not an abusive way.  You looked suitably shocked, so I think you felt very mature for attending the show.  The performance itself was amazing.  I won’t get into detail here in case anyone reading this has the chance to attend one of his shows in the future, but rest assured that we give him six thumbs up.

When you found out that his memoir was for sale in the lobby and that he’d be doing a Q&A and book signing after the show, you insisted on getting involved.  I was happy to buy you the book—I believe in supporting my friends’ endeavors, and while Nate is not exactly a friend, he recognized me and remembered Uncle Tyler, who is the same age as him, when we talked after the show.  I think you and Tobin were impressed.  You guys both asked questions in the Q&A, and you maintained mostly good behavior despite being up way past your bedtime.  I love taking you to theatrical events, and I’m glad you’re still willing to be seen in public with me.

It seems like most of my pictures of you are of you while you’re eating.  For a while there you were eating in huge quantities, but now your growth spurt must be leveling off, because you’re back to normal amounts.  It’s a good thing your favorite food, pasta, is cheap, because we were going through a whole lot of it for a period.

We have your school conference coming up in a couple of weeks, and I feel confident about what your teacher will say:  “Miles is a great kid and a great student who sometimes needs to remember the right time and place for blurting out nonsense like ‘chicken nuggets.’  He is creative and funny and his desk is an utter disaster.”  Check this space next month to see if my prediction was correct.

Your current favorites:  everything chocolate, including but not limited to the chocolate croissants from Trader Joe’s; Minecraft; Legend of Zelda; the Philadelphia Phillies, because you like their mascot; giving Callum airplane rides; and McDonald’s chicken nuggets.  That last one surprised me.  As I mentioned above, you enjoy (sometimes at inappropriate times) shouting “I like chicken nuggets!”, but I thought it was all for show since you’ve always been pretty lukewarm on them.  Then we went to a school fundraiser at McDonald’s, which was a pretty miserable experience for me given my dislike of McDonald’s food and crowds.  You ate about ten McNuggets.

You’re weird, but I like you that way.




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