Year 5, Day 334

One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to do a better job of looking out for myself, especially where time away from work is concerned. After racking up a ton of vacation time during the pandemic, I’ve had an ongoing problem of failing to use virtually any of it unless I had a specific trip to go on. I always promise myself that I’ll take a few days off “once I get past ______,” and whether that blank is filled with a certain week, event, or season, the result has consistently been the same. The goalposts move, the “next thing” is always on the horizon, and the time is “never right.”

With Miles in a public school program this year with a schedule peppered with holidays and teacher workdays, I finally have an excuse to just go for it and take the time away that I need. Granted, some of those days will also involve the almost-five-year-old force of nature I’ve got closeby, but I’m hoping to combine those days with a few truly personal days as well.

Miles was out of school today, and I’ve taken the next couple days off to tend to some long-overlooked personal projects (and brace myself for another The Office trivia night at Legion). Before I could get to that personal time, however, I had a full day with Miles.

Miles made it clear to me very early today that he did not want to go anywhere. This, I told him, was going to be a problem, since I had some trivia supplies to pick up in Charlotte. Thankfully, the promise of a McDonald’s lunch was enough to make him amenable (I gave him the option of eating anything — ANYTHING — that he wanted) and we drove down to Ed’s Tavern to snag the supplies I would absolutely need for the next couple shows.

The first thing I noticed upon entering was that there’s been some renovations made since the last time I was there. The first thing Miles noticed were the video games. While it was hard to talk him off that particular ledge (“Miles, really, Golden Tee isn’t a game you’re going to be interested in.”), I quickly spotted something I thought might do the trick. The long hightop tables running down the middle of the bar all had built-in checkerboards. One look at these and Miles, Mr. “I Don’t Want to Go Anywhere,” didn’t want to leave. Granted, he made up a lot of new rules as we played (the most interesting of which was a “Pirates vs. Sharks” variation), but no denying we had a good time together.

And ultimately, there was one thing outside that he was interested in seeing…

“I want to see its mouth, Daddy!”

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