Nine is halfway to adult.
It seems like just yesterday, she was a tiny little baby who fit into her daddy's Husker baseball cap. In an instant she's going to be nine, and in another blink or two she'll be registering to vote. I'll be 40. My baby boys will be 13. Teenagers! Un. Be. Lieveable.
I remember a Christmas just over three years ago-we had 2 babies in high chairs, Reise was 2, Rugger just turning 4, Ryleigh was 5. I actually said out loud to Mitch's brother after my third trip up the stairs during the meal to get someone something, "it won't always be this much work, right? It certainly has to get easier from here." We have finally arrived in the land of easier.
It is amazing.
We have reached this tiny little window-right now this very instant-of golden time. These kids are old enough to wipe their own bums, and young enough to still like us. All of them. At the same time. And, it's not going to last forever.
I am aware.
I am determined not to waste it.
Maybe we'll have a few teenagers who don't roll their eyes or slam bedroom doors. We might get lucky enough to never have LPD on our doorstep at 1am with one of our naughty children in tow.
Who knows, we might even discover that teens are our favorite.
I can't imagine it. All I know is right now, this very instant, is absolutely precious. If I could freeze this period of time and keep them 8,7,5,4 and 4 forever and ever amen, I would do it.
And, it's not that I'm dreading the teen years or an empty nest. I think we both anticipate a sense of sweet freedom will come at that point; when we're able to leave the house at 10pm for Dairy Queen if we want to, or just because we can. And, it's not that I didn't enjoy having babies. I loved having babies. It's just that I'm suddenly very conscious of the fact that these years are screaming by us, and they will probably go down as the best of our child rearing years. I was so busy when my kids were newborn, newborn, 1, 3, 4...it didn't feel like it was flying by at the time. The physical work required to keep those kids alive every single day was really incredible. I imagine the emotionally draining teen years might feel equally exhausting, in a different way. I could be wrong.
All I know is, this golden time right now is pretty awesome.
We spent the weekend watching the weather and packing boxes. In case you hadn't heard...we move in 11 days. Mercy!