And he knows it. Just today this conversation went down,
"Hey Teek, guess what?"
"You love me."
"How did you know I was going to say that?!"
"Because you say dat all duh time. And you say I'm duh k-YOU-tist."
"Well, you are the cutest!"
"Yeah. I know dat cause you say dat all duh time."
2 - Miles is a competitor. Also, his hair is amazing.
Sometimes my mind flashes back to one experience when Miles was in the transition phase between baby and toddler. My parents know the day because they were there, too, watching with amazement as little Miles, completely wrapped up in his own thoughts and determination, worked to master stepping up and down an inch-deep step where the porch turned to gravel. He fell and fell and fell, and turned around to hit it again, again, again. I remember my dad leaning slightly over to my mom and pointing his finger to pull her attention to the sheer grit that was coming from Miles. We watched him work in that one spot with an attention span much longer than was appropriate for his age, and we knew that we were seeing one of his core personality traits.
Miles is amazing. His mind is quick, his coordination is good, and we've stopped giving him any sort of handicap advantage when playing games with his older siblings. Card games, basketball games, board games, soccer games... he has an innate ability to grasp the rules, strategize, and compete.
This is his game face. Notice the kids in the background? How relaxed and non-competitive they look? It was a purely non-competitive field day... no points, no races, just fun. But Miles was there to compete anyway. It was fascinating to see him switch his game face on and off, on and off, on and off, when he was about to run, and when he was laughing and playing with his friends.
3 - Carson goes through shoes like band-aids.
Which is a small problem when you're trying to do the water limbo in a ditch. During the school year, he wore through four pairs of tennis shoes (and we even bought expensive ones once to see if that helped... it didn't). And so far this summer he's gone through three pairs of flip flops. That's an average of 10 summer days a pair, people.
So, if you see him walking around with the soles literally falling off the bottoms of his feet, don't worry. He is loved and fed and well cared for and will have new shoes eventually. In the meantime, good thing it doesn't rain much here.
And if you see me coming out of the store with a cart filled with 48 pairs of flip flops all the same size, you'll know why.
4 - What would I say to someone who says they've met the Energizer Bunny?
Me too! Seriously. Carson's teacher has more energy than the kids in her classroom every. single. day. She jumps and runs and plays their games. She dances and cheers and pumps her fists in the air... you could make a movie about her, she's that unique and wonderful. She wasted no time during field day and jumped right into the games while all the parents and other teachers stood around and smiled.
5 - Carson has good friends and a good heart
Carson became responsible this year. Weird to say, maybe, because how do you really pinpoint the moment that you become something like responsible? But he did. He started taking responsibility for his school work, he started wearing matching clothes to school, he started remembering to brush his teeth every night, he started doing his morning chores without seventy six reminders... It's fantastic. He's fantastic.
Plus, his caring heart spent a week in agony trying to decide which of the people in his class he should invite to the pizza party he earned. The kids were rewarded for things like good behavior with Honey Bucks, and one of the thing they could buy with their accumulated Bucks was a pizza party with two friends during lunch time. Several of the kids had earned this prize throughout the year, and Carson was one of them. He had been invited to others pizza parties in the past, and had already bought one for himself several months before, and now that he had enough money to buy another one he was charged with the responsibility of picking two friends to eat with him. It was near the end of the school year, and he told me one night that there were several kids in his class that had never been invited to a pizza party, or who never earned enough money to buy one for themselves, and he wanted to invite all of them (five-ish, I believe). So I sent a text to his teacher, and she made it happen. He has such a beautiful heart.
6 - Middle school band concerts can actually be amazing
Kenz worked hard at mastering her instruments this year. She wanted to play the oboe, so her band instructor started her with a clarinet for the first half of the year (because, apparently, they are quite similar to the oboe and much easier to play), and then switched her when she was ready. McKenzie brought the oboe home and practiced frequently, and I was so proud of her hard work.
It feels good to accomplish something.
7 - TK looks cute in pigtails
Also, how awesome is it that the K-2nd grade school has little paintings like this up all over their hallways? This school is amazing, and I just loved being there every week. They encourage the children to be good students, of course, but way more than that, they encourage the children to be good people. I felt like everyone was on the same page over there... the office staff, the teaching staff, the principle - I just loved being there every week, and I was happy to have Miles there every single day.
8 - It's a delicate balance trying to find music for the car that pleases both TK and me.
Seeing him up on that (tiny) stage was so fun - he loved it and felt so proud to be there.
9 - This girl is stealing my heart lately
She is turning into such an incredible young woman.
Of course, I suppose that she's been turning into an incredible young woman from the day she was born, and perhaps it would be more accurate to say that she's continuing to turn into an incredible adult.
She has landed in a great group of girls. Drama and fun. Kenz doesn't do the drama very much. She mostly stays out of it, but the challenge has been to help her feel sympathetic towards those that do feel the drama. I get it, because I was quite anti-drama when I was her age, too. I ended up settling with one best girl friend, and tons of boys because, less drama.
But, drama or not, she sure has fun with her wonderful friends.