21 August 2013

Growing Up

Life doesn't seem quite fair when I'm hell bent on NOT growing up and my kids are growing up without any sort of second thought. They just do it. Everyday.

Benny starts first grade in less than a week. Somehow first grade doesn't seem as weird as kindergarten - probably because we're pros at school at this point. Been there. Done that. What really gets me is that he's reading everything. Signs. Books. Labels. Nate and I can no longer spell things out because he now knows what we're talking about. We've reverted to pig Latin. So far, he hasn't figured out that secret language, which doesn't really matter because I often can't understand it either.

We've been calling Lila a big girl ever since she ditched the diapers nearly six months ago. I'm completely willing to forget that connection to babyhood - the diapers, the wiping of butts. She moves up to the next classroom, intermediates, in two weeks. The room where every kid is potty trained and can now go on field trips. FIELD TRIPS! I've been putting off the big girl bed for months now. Nate was ready to remove the railings from the crib long ago, but I convinced him otherwise. "Why would we allow her to get in and OUT of bed on her own," I would say. And he agreed - eventually. Until she decided that she could climb out herself. On Sunday, I was suddenly forced to come to terms with the fact that Lila is no longer a baby. Not even close. She isn't even a toddler. She is a pre-schooler. And, damn if I don't want her to stop growing right now.

But we keep moving on. Benny moved up from a 16-inch bike to a 20-inch bike this summer. And he is ROCKING it. He is incessantly inquisitive and growing smarter everyday. He still can't tie his shoes and now I'm holding onto that little relic of toddlerhood with the hopes that he'll still have to ask for my help in high school - for something.

Lila pretty much just copies whatever her brother is doing, so I fear that she will develop skills faster - just to keep up. She's already a pro at the balance bike and at setting the table. She goes to the bathroom all by herself. All she has to master now - to become a full-fledged self-sufficient kid - is to be able to put her shirt on and take it off. That's it. And then what? Reading and writing for her? Bike riding? No more needing Mom?

Shuddering over here. Can't we just slow this whole process down a bit? Enjoy these little bits of dependence and independence. Savor them. Nope. All I can hope for is to be able to recall the awesome memories of my kids and consider myself lucky to be here to witness their amazing growth.

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