Year 3, Day 150

Miles was having a rough time getting out of the house this morning. It was one of those days were, no matter what mom or dad suggests, Miles inevitably wants something different. In these moments, we search desperately for something capable of attracting all or Miles’s interest. As I opened the front door and tried to pry him away from Jaclyn, it dawned on me.

“Miles,” I said. “Do you hear that?”

Miles has developed a fascination with lawnmowers, often hearing one in the distance and observing, “Daddy, that’s a lawnmower.” Today, our property managers were out cleaning up some of the debris in the yard, and we could hear the sounds of yard equipment coming from the back of the house.

“It’s a lawnmower,” Miles said, calming down almost immediately.

“Yeah!” I concurred. “Hey…let’s go look for it!”

Finally, Miles happy and agreeable. He grabbed ahold of me and we walked along the sidewalk, moving to a point that provided a clear view into the backyard.

I should mention at this point that we’ve a few stumps in the backyard since we moved in. One in particular has become a favorite hangout spot for Miles. He’ll stand on top of it, throw things at it, sort his stick collection on it…he loves the stump.

I bring this up because the moment we rounded the corner of the house, Miles immediately saw that the sound was not coming from a lawnmower, but something with (at least to him) darker intent.

“No MY STUMP!!!” he screamed, understanding immediately what he was looking at. Every stump in the yard was being removed, and lucky us, we were bearing witness to the excavation of Miles’s favorite.

Naturally, it took a few more minutes to calm Miles back down even after we got in the car and drove away, but as hard as the morning was, Miles learned a valuable lesson about impermanence. And I learned that there’s very little that a few listens of “Baby Shark” can’t fix.

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