It happens so slowly and yet all at once. Your kids grow up.
A few things have happened recently that have knocked me over with this reality. Here’s the short list:
Lilly was asked to babysit for a family friend who was just babysitting her. How can our babysitter be old enough to have a baby of her own? And how can Lilly be old enough to babysit her baby?
A neighbor recently overheard her daughter answer a knock at their door. She told me it sounded like two men at the door. It was my 14-year-old son and his buddy. When did they start sounding like men?
Registration for the girls’ school came in the mail a few weeks ago. As I checked the slot to enroll Maggie as a junior, I realized that she’s almost half way through high school. These are definitely turning out to be the fastest four years of my life.
I glanced through the window into the pool at the Y recently as I was dropping off Maggie and saw a swim class for parents and babies going on. I was instantly taken back 16 years to when I took that class with her. How is it that little baby of mine is now teaching swim lessons?
Every day, I call to Jonah as he gets out of the car, “Have a good day, I love you!” Recently, he’s stopped saying “I love you” back. When did my baby get old enough to stop loving me in public?
On a recent trip to the library, my kids scattered. Two were in the young adult section looking for books, one was reading at a table and the littlest was looking for chapter books in the junior stacks. I found myself wandering the aisles of the children’s section reminiscing over all the books I used to read to them.
So how ever old your kids are today, take a moment to see them just where they are. Think about all the things you love about them right now. Hug your baby and sniff his sweet smelling head. Enjoy the feel of your toddler in your lap as you read to her. Hold hands, cuddle and watch them running around on the playground. Enjoy the moments you get with your teens — in the car, at the dinner table or watching them on the field or stage.
They will never be just as they are right now ever again.
FranklyStein is a blog by Chesapeake Family Magazine editor Betsy Stein who lives in Catonsville with her husband, Chris, and four children, Maggie, 16, Lilly, 14, Adam, 14, and Jonah, 10.