I think we've entered a new era. I haven't figured out the mystery of how Time can pass so quickly and leave you feeling like you fell into a back hole...dazed and confused, spinning wildly out of control, and strung out like spaghetti noodles.
I have a love-hate relationship with FaceBook. I'm not going to go too far down that path, but just far enough to say that as I've reconnected with high school classmates that I haven't seen for 20 years, I'm struck by how...middle aged...they generally look. And you know what that means.... I obviously look middle aged as well.
As all of you already know, I have two children. Two. I clearly can't handle more than two; they kick my butt everyday. My girl-child is 6 1/2 years old. I frequently notice lately that she teeters between two worlds. In one, she is still a little girl, crying way too easily when she cannot get her winter coat to zip or when she bangs her head or stubs her toe. In this world, she still wants me to do so many things for her...tie her shoes (even though she knows how to do it herself now), hug her and kiss her when she falls down, read her bedtime stories (even though these "stories" are chapter books--currently the fifth in the Little House on the Prairie series). In the other world, she thinks she's already 13. She inquires when she will be old enough to have her own cell phone (when you are 30, Dear Child!), wants to dress fashionably, hang with her "friends," and skip off to class without giving me a hug and kiss good-bye when I take her to her homeschool c0-op.
I know that little-girl-world is going to continue to fade at breakneck speed and give way to a big-girl-world. Today, as I watched her silently from a distance, I saw the last 6 1/2 years pass in my mind's eye, and I dared not let myself consider how fast the next 6 1/2 will also go.
My boy-child is four years old now. We hold him and cuddle him sometimes like he is still a baby. I don't know how much longer we will get away with this; we know this is the last baby we will have, so I guess we are making it last. Yet I can't deny the fact that my "baby," who just turned four years old, is now writing the entire alphabet and numbers to 10. He still wants to be held sometimes even though he is nearly as big as a five year old, but his pleas to "hold ya!" are fading and becoming less and less frequent.
Watching my babies grow up so fast creates a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Yet, in all my "middle aged" glory, I am growing tired. As much as I grieve the loss of Time to that black hole, I have moments now when I feel ready for my little ones to grow more independent. Guilt crowds my conscious as I admit that I'm ready for them to both be able to put on their own shoes and zip their own coats, dress themselves, brush their own teeth. And yet, even as I say the words, my heart aches with the knowledge that once we finally pass all those milestones (daughter has passed all of these particular ones already) they will be gone forever...like Time sucked into that block hole. Gone.
I'm ready for my kids to handle more complex chores around the house, loading and unloading the dishwasher, vacuuming the floor, heck...I'd settle for them picking up after themselves without me reminding them to! The other day I actually looked at my precious little boy child and told him how glad I am that he is my baby, and how exciting it is that one day he will be big enough to mow the lawn by himself.
I guess my girl child is not the only one with a foot in two different worlds.