Saturday, January 19, 2008

Lost in the fray

It's Saturday, I have a few moments to waste before I dig in to my homework and thought, hmmmm, what better way to waste it then to put up a quick post.

Spent much of last week planning our summer family vacation. Geez, I sound like the Griswolds from the Nat'l Lampoon movies. Anyway, got us set up for a cabin on a lake in Wisconsin this time around. I do hope the fishing is good. I'm terribly excited for the trip. I think as I get older and the kids get older, the trips become more and more meaningful and less of something that we just do.

While I've always loved our get-aways, being with just us, it seems like each year planning them is more of a desperation sort of act then anything...if that makes any sense. All the stress we deal with every year, all the busy schedules, soccer season, work, and mostly, the kids getting older right before our eyes.

As a parent is in the midst of raising our kids, learning who they are, struggling to figure them out, going to all their activities, laughing at all their antics, it seems for me that ages 5 on up to 18 have been nothing but a blur while at the same time each year of each child is embedded deeply in my heart and in my memory.

The time goes more quickly then one notices. Like the day you look at the calendar and their 9th birthday is just a month away...where did those other 8 years go? I hear people talk, and I used to be one of them, of their tiny little infant who is now 6 months old and how quickly time goes. How they grow...I hear that and I look at my own children and stare in awe.

6 months old was so long ago! Our boy will be 9 next month, our oldest is 18. Our second will be 17 this year while our third will be 13...holy cow, where did the time go, what happened to my cooing gurgling little babies that fit so perfectly cradled in my arms.

Now, as I hug them, they fit like a glove and respond back with arms as long as mine. They are no longer the helpless little beings that I was once so awed by. They stand at my height, look me in the eye...they know my every mood and they ask me if I need anything, they hug me when I need a hug and they tell me how much they love me. How did that happen without so much as a blink of the eye?

Sorry, this is just one of those days that I'm taking a long moment to reflect on my kids' lives, on our life as their parents, on life in general. The two older ones had their boyfriends over (both of which seem to be quite serious relationships) today for the day and we all had dinner together and the conversation wasn't about childish things, we discussed news, politics, sports, jobs and taxes. It was one of those days that I sat here and looked at my family, at my kids and saw them from an outsider's perspective. They are turning into adults...

Soon though, that harsh reality will set in, in fact it may already be...the family will get smaller and smaller. Last summer we got a good dose of that reality with our oldest away at boot camp and it was a strange and sad experience. While I've told the kids that once they're 18, they are outta here ( of course with a smirk on my face) that that day is nearing, it's time to readjust, to grow in a different aspect and prepare for their next steps in life.

Wow, that alone is something that is tough to swallow...

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