Today my son, Paul, turns twelve. I can hardly even write these words. How did this happen? He is the fourth of my children to hit the "pre-teen" years. I only have two left to go, and they're not far behind. I'm not old enough for them to be so old. What happened?
Paul's been counting the days to his birthday for weeks now. I'm surprised he's still asleep at the moment because he was so excited about having a birthday today. He asked if he could start going to youth activities at our church, but I told him they have to be thirteen before they can attend. Don't look at me like that--I told the truth! But I'm not ready for another one to be a teenager, especially when I'm just barely surviving the other three.
This is also the first year that Paul won't be getting toys for his birthday. No, I'm not giving him clothes. But he's now at the age where electronics (more expensive toys) are high on his wish list. They're cool toys, but the trade off is that they're smaller. Hope he's matured enough to look past the size of the wrapped package!
Luke, my fourteen-year-old, keeps reminding me how many days he has left before he can get a driver's permit. My response? Just because you can legally have one doesn't mean you will have one. I've got to find a better method for covering my gray hair first.
Matthew, nineteen-years-old, mentioned the other day that he will be twenty-one in a year and a half. Why do they wish so much of their life away? Why do they wish so much of their youth away? I'm sure to them it seems like it will last forever, but trust me. It doesn't. It seems to disappear overnight.
I've been struggling with this since I realized Paul would be twelve on his next birthday. (Somehow that didn't occur to me when we were celebrating his eleventh birthday!) I was almost coming to terms with it when Nicky, the youngest, announced he would be nine in December. My baby's last year of single digits? Say it isn't so! As I bemoaned that he would be getting older, Joel wrapped his arm around my shoulders. At ten years old, he is rarely serious, and he smiled winningly as he comforted me. "Don't worry, Mom," he assured me. "We won't let Nicky get any bigger. We'll beat him down." Okay, so not all of them are at the cusp of growing up yet. This I can deal with.
I just wonder why no one told me that the diaper and bottle years would end so quickly. At the time they took forever, but they're gone and only now am I finding out that they were the easiest years. So I'm bracing myself for the next few years, and I'm researching better hair coloring. Any suggestions?