Year 5, Day 294

With Miles’s school rapidly approaching winter break, his class held a holiday party this afternoon. After pulling some strings to get out early, I left work after lunch to take part in the festivities.

While my last visit to Miles’s school was filled with parents, this time I was there alone, at least for a little while. As before, Miles started grinning wide when I entered, and yet he followed his teachers’ directions and didn’t get up from his seat until told. As the one parent/unfamiliar person/stranger in the room, it was only natural that every child was jockeying for my attention. I directed my focus from kid to kid, generally picking up about 25-30% of what any one of them was saying while Miles, sitting a few feet away, just grinned and laughed.

What was perhaps the funniest moment came while the students were eating, when several of them started quizzing me on their names. Now, you might think I’d be at a complete loss here, having only just formally met many of them. You’d be wrong though, because after offering to help out a few minutes earlier I was tasked with delivering goodie bags to their cubby areas, each of which was labeled with their names AND pictures. And yet, while this helped me out with first names, I was unprepared for the question I quickly got from Owen.

“What’s my second name??”

I shrugged, “Owen how would I even know that?”

“It’s Tigershark,” he replied.

“Your name is Owen Tigershark.”

“Yeah,” he said.

“My second name is Tigershark too!” Delilah said.

“Mine too!”

“And guess what mine is? Tigershark!”

“Hold on,” I said, holding my hands up. “You don’t expect me to believe that you’re all named Tigershark, do you?”

It was all good and fun, but perhaps the most endearing part came when one of the kids said to me, “Hey, Miles’s Dad? Miles is my best friend.”

Was it true? Maybe. Did it warm the heart? Oh I guarantee it.

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