One thing Amanda and I were both disappointed in as Milly headed into first grade was that, as social as she is and as much as she enjoys her friends, only one person she knew from her Kindergarten class was in her first grade class. Of course, everyone pointed out to her that it was an opportunity to make new friends.
Every night I called her for a while I’d ask if she’d made new friends. When I picked her up on Tuesday, I changed it up a little. I asked her if there were any people she enjoyed hanging out with. She mentioned a few girls who sit at her table and one other girl, Juliana. She seemed to like talking about Juliana, so I asked her what she liked about Juliana.
“We have a lot in common,” Milly told me.
Then I asked her about who she sat with at lunch. Different people, but usually Izzy. And what do you and Izzy talk about? “Oh, we just chit chat.”
It just struck me how grown up she sounded in the way she said these things. Then she told me that she was going to start calling macaroni “mac-a-ro-ro”. I thought it was creative.
She’s been particularly affectionate lately, Milly has. She earned a homework pass on one of the days I picked her up and she told me she wanted to use it that day so we could have more time together. Part of me suspected she just didn’t want to do her homework, but I thought it was very sweet either way.
She’s been more huggy and cuddly with Tristen too, telling her she loves her more often and referring to her as “soon-to-be-stepmom”. Not that Milly has been been un-affectionate prior to recently; she’s just been more affectionate. She’s more attentive on the phone when I call her on the evenings I don’t have her too. She’ll often keep me on longer when I’m trying to let her get off the phone.
I’ve missed having her around as much as I had her this summer and I think she’s missed it too. I’ve made it a point to try to do as little work as I can when I’ve got her. That is, I try to get as much done prior to picking her up as I can so I can spend time doing the things that she wants to do with me, which is mostly to just play one way or another.
And it’s not like playing is always easy. Any parent can attest to how much effort it sometimes takes to use your imagination when you’ve got lots of stuff going on. But if Milly wants to pretend we’re superheroes, or she wants to play with Harry Potter Legos and Shopkins, I want to spend as much time as I can doing that while I can.
I particularly enjoyed Tuesday with Milly. A couple days ago the brush between our house and the neighbors’, which obscured some train tracks, was mulched to clear out some room around a phone pole. And it wasn’t just a little path to it, it was a wide swath that went a couple feet behind our fence. Tristen, our neighbor and the current owners of the house were all upset about it.
When I told Milly about it on the phone she was excited about it at first because it was going to be easier to see trains, but when she saw it she was upset about it too and said it was ugly and smelled bad.
The smell was that of freshly turned dirt and mulch, which hearkens back to when the house my parents built on Johnson Mill Road was being built. It’s a fresh and earthy smell to me that is not unpleasant. But I digress.
When the brush had all been cleared on Monday, I took a little walk back there to check it out. There are actually two train tracks separated by a bit of partially treed land that I thought might be fun to show Milly.
So all that said, when she came over on Tuesday I took her back there. We walked along the railroad tracks pretending to be on a superhero mission. She was Golden Lightning Bolt or some such. I can’t remember what name I had, but my power was to turn into anything she needed. I turned into some goggles that helped her find some bad guys robbing a bank, then I turned into a rocket skateboard to get us there. I turned into a bag we tricked the robber into putting his stolen goods in.
After we went back and forth on the tracks a bit (and caught the robber) we sat in the trees for a bit. She made plans for us to clean it up a bit and add a table or something. Then we walked around in the lush grass behind the driveway until we found some ants to watch. We tracked where they were coming from and where they were going to, then I went inside to get a tortilla chip to crumble up to see what they’d do. We didn’t see any pick them up, but I’m sure if I checked now the crumbs would be gone.
It seems that autumn began Monday evening with the weather cooling a bit. I don’t have a favorite season, but I do love the time when one season transitions into another. It’s a magical time to me and we’re going through it right now. Playing outside with Milly during it makes it even better.
Today, between homework and playing with Legos, Milly and I watched the first ever videos of her. We watched some from right after her birth, a few from a month or so in and several from when she was about a year old. She seemed entertained by them until she realized that playtime was slipping away, so then it was off to her room for Harry Potter Legos and Shopkins.
Just like she constantly did last year, Milly is always asking if she is spending the night on the days I pick her up. I always tell her that now that school’s in, it’s just on the Fridays I pick her up. Every time, every single time, that’s followed with a disappointed “Awwww.” I always tell her it’s not the way I want it and hopefully one day it will change. I just hope she hangs onto that until she’s old enough for her wishes to be taken into consideration. She still wants equal time with me and her mom and doesn’t think it’s fair that she doesn’t get to see us both the same. You won’t see me argue against that.
Anyway, it’s fun to take a snapshot of how different aspects of life are at different times, so I just thought I’d sum up what things are like with Milly right now. This post was kind of all over the place, but it was sort of a collection of anecdotes and musings from present days.