April 7, 2012

These Middle Years

I've been thinking a lot lately about what life will be like when my children go off to college. I know it seems premature – they're only in 5th and 7th grade right now - but there are days when I get little glimpses of days to come. At thirteen, Emma is a social butterfly traveling in a large gaggle of girls, roaming the neighborhood in flip flops, plotting sleepovers every weekend. Kate is pulling away a bit more too, closing her door to listen to music, and refusing to wear clothes that just aren't her style.

It seems like mere weeks ago that they were playing Polly Pockets together in the living room (and I kept threatening to vacuum up all those little Polly shoes if they didn't pick them all up!) and watching "Aurthur" on PBS while I made dinner. Now here they are – on the cusp. Two teenage girls, swapping nail polish and bringing home math homework I can't even begin to help them with. Life speeds by at such a frenzied pace sometimes I wish I had a pause button. I know that it won't be long and I'll be waking up to silence – just Gary and I showering and poking around the house. The girls rooms will sit frozen in time, high school memorabilia on the bulletin boards, outgrown clothes in the closets. It makes me feel sad and alone, but I know when it happens I should feel happy. It's all good, it's normal, it's as it should be. They are my dream. Someday they will go live theirs. And so it goes, on and on.

But tonight . . . we will dye Easter eggs, eat dinner around the kitchen table, snuggle under blankets on the couch and watch a movie together. I'll tuck them into bed and tell them I love them and I'll treasure their perfectness and the time I still have.

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