Miles and Miles Away

August 30, 2010

We may have lost babysitting privileges.

It was a hot morning and we slept in.  I drifted in and out of sleep, dreaming of eggplant calzones and starting a 1960s ad agency (Draper Geraghty Cooper Pryce). Then there were footsteps.  Assertive but light.  There was also a distant and gentle giggle.  Miles Jameson.  Little nephew’s checking in at 2.5 years, about 27 pounds, two dimples, and suddenly blazing speed.

If you saw him, you’d think, yeah, this kid’s cool. Sometimes he wears funny hats and chic rustic outfits, other times just a diaper.  He doesn’t drool like he used to.  If he wants to say goodbye it’s ‘night night,’ regardless of what time it is.  We have a shared affection for Buzz Lightyear and I admire his obsession with juice boxes.   Most people agree that a hug from Miles is one of life’s ten greatest offerings.

So we get up and say hello to the young guy and my mom tells me she’s babysitting him for a few hours.  We can help out if we want.

I fist-pump Bethany because this is our one chance.  We’ll be gone for a year so we need to somehow convince him that we’re worthy.   He’s not old enough to buy off with video games and birthday checks so quality time is really the only way to go.

What do kids love?  Doing things they’re not supposed to.  My father- his grandfather, and a tremendous one- tells  Miles to put some shoes on before they go outside.

Ha!  I will let him outside without shoes on behind my father’s back!  Trying to be the cool uncle really knows no bounds.  I throw him on top of my shoulders and we run around the house playing cops and robbers.  We were the robbers and there weren’t any cops.  It was chaos, a la Joker via The Dark Knight.

He’s laughing.  I’m sweating but happy.  I am earning the boy’s trust.

But man: that little boy can go.    B and I had a breather on the front steps and let him just be for a few minutes.  He was messing around with leaves- crumbling them up and throwing them on top of himself- and he was pretty close to the street.  Ok, fine.  He was on the curb, maybe a half-inch from the street.

But it was no big deal.  Cars rarely travel down our road and Miles is trained not to go onto it.

So when we heard a car, we thought, whatever.  I said, ‘Miles, be careful.’ We were probably about twenty feet from him.

Miles did exactly what he was supposed to, and there were no injuries.  The problem was that it was his father (my brother) in the car.

My brother got out quickly.  His look of surprise was evident.  How could two adults possibly let a kid play with leaves this close to the street?  And why isn’t he wearing shoes?  And why is his face marked with dirt?   And why isn’t he wearing sunscreen?

‘I’m just going to take him inside for a few minutes,’ my brother said.  It was a nice way of saying, ‘You’ll never be left alone with my child again.’

We’ll always have cops and robbers, Little Man.

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3 Responses to “Miles and Miles Away”

  1. Sam said

    Cool post Sean, Miles seems awesome! This post reminds me of Sunday at my family reunion cookout. Another little man named Zach (he’s 3 years old) walked up to me with Rebeca (my cousin). Rebeca said Zach walked up to her and said lets find Sam (I didn’t even who Zach was until he walked up to me). He is wicked cool. His dad lives in Australia so he his mom and little bro will most likely be moving there. By the way he’s a Red Sox fan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The night before at the family auction Scott’s mom Edie won a Playboy poker kit. So me Scott, Justin (Scott’s 15 year old son), and Patrick (My other 15 year old cousin) went and played some poker in the middle of the auction (my first time ever playing) I won the first hand!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    In the room next to me was a family from England. My mom got the other moms email so now we will know whats happening in England, LOL. I’ve had my most favorite and memorable vacation in Plymouth, America’s hometown. So until next time see ya later. -XS (Extreme Sam)

  2. Great stuff Sammy. Thanks for the stories about Plymouth: sounds like you guys had a blast.
    Talk soon, my man.

  3. Nell said

    Sean…how is it that a math teacher can write such deeply moving & hilarious accounts? I am so happy that you and Bethany have decided to keep this blog so that I can keep track of you. You were soooo missed today – CJ said he wouldn’t come visit the AC anymore since you weren’t there. Sarudi and I weren’t even allowed to sit together today (due to the lame icebreaker activity), which made it that much more painful. Kenwood hired a very sweet & innocent 22 yr old blond girl to replace you – we’ll see how she does. As much as I miss you, I will admit that a smile came across my face as I was buying my new set of dry-erase markers…

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