The first week in December came and went. My sister and her husband and kids stayed with us for a few days, and it was Christmasy to have littles in the house again.
And then, in the middle of Amazon deliveries, Christmas movie marathons, and reminding preschoolers to flush, our middle son turned thirteen.
I won’t spend time dragging out tattered cliches about time flying and all that. But he’s the second of our three kids to cross this invisible threshold in the last fourteen months, and I have to mention it.
Yesterday, we visited my eighty-year-old grandmother. She is still beautiful to me. Her hands shake now, but her nails are painted red and she wears diamonds. We sat out on her sunporch, overlooking quiet fields, and reminisced about my childhood and hers. She chuckled to herself, talked about my kids and me as if we are the same age.
My husband and I haven’t turned forty yet, but we notice the signs of a new normal in the bags under our eyes, in our increasing fatigue at any hour past 9:30 PM. We don’t feel twelve-and-a-half very often anymore.
Then we look at our kids, at how they’re leaving childhood behind at breakneck speed, and we feel older, still–but also younger. Older because, how did we become the parents of two teenagers and one who’ll be there in seventeen months (minutes)? Younger because we’ve crammed a lot of living into thirty-eight years, and, Lord willing, there’s more to come.
So I’m trying to stay present in these actual moments instead of looking back too much, or worse, too far ahead. Because before long, these hours will be replaced by something new. And then something else after that.
And I will miss my grandmother, and the house that used to have kids living in it.