Nine, almost ten. My big kids have never been this age before. That sounds like such an obvious statement, but isn't that the truth of every stage our kids go through? And shouldn't we be ready to recognize that, to enjoy and savor things a bit just because it's never been this way before?
I can't help but feel that this age is the age of standing on the cusp of jumping off and flapping their wings. It seems like the tween and teen years are just around the corner, like we are living in the shadow of those years already, not because those years are dark and scary but just because they are on the horizon and quickly approaching. In fact, in some ways, the looming of those years is a joyous thing, because in the moments of yesterday and today, I can see just who my kids are becoming. I can't help but be filled with anticipation over watching their personalities and souls unfurl in front of me in ways that didn't happen when they were younger.
Like the last lazy days of an Indian summer, where we sit cross legged on the porch, enjoying the warm night air, gazing at the white moonlight and the pale off-again-on again glow of fireflies, I want to drink in these days, knowing that the end of this stage is near. I can't help but smile as they answer the neighbor girl's question, wholeheartedly affirming that "Yes, let's make our bikes be horses. Mine's going to be Buck!" I purse my lips a bit in amusement when they pick Peppa Pig or Paw Patrol on the tv, so thankful that they enjoy those "baby" shows. My eyes twinkle as I see them playing make believe with action figures and Barbies, climbing into blanket forts and crafting signs from post-it notes for an imaginary store.
Relish. Contemplate. Breathe deep those moments. Soon these days will be gone.