Not me, friends. Nope.
How to have two magic years at one time
As a young newspaper reporter in North Georgia, long before I had kids or even a husband, I once spent the day with a third-grade class to write a feature about their new outdoor laboratory.
At the end of that day, I returned to the newsroom and reported to my boss: "Eight-year-olds are the coolest kids ever. They're big enough to be totally independent and have interesting ideas, but they're still small enough to think grown-ups are fun to hang out with."
Years later, as a young mom with one child who had recently turned 4 years old, I felt as if I had discovered the next-coolest age. After four years of relentless baby-toting and toddler-chasing, I finally had a kid. Someone who could dress himself and tell me what he was thinking and come up with silly jokes.
"This is a magic year," I told my mom a few months after that fourth birthday. "This is perfect."
Then a new baby came along, and I was pulled back into the vortex of baby-toting and toddler-chasing, this time with a big kid to keep up with, as well. The new baby made things interesting by being an exceptionally short-tempered little scrap of humanity, with a stubborn streak and a bottomless appetite for tantrums. We had a long few years. I don't remember much about them. There was a whole lot of sleep deprivation and frustration involved.
This year, however, I'm getting a double scoop of good karma as a reward. My sons are 4 and 8, and our family has hit the ultimate chronological sweet spot. The temperamental toddler has become an exceptionally engaging and independent 4-year-old. He's still stubborn and a tad volatile, but he has turned some developmental corner that allows him to get it together when he absolutely must. He's hilarious, goofy, brave and -- best of all – potty-trained.
Meanwhile, our 8-year-old has become an excellent little golfer, an entertaining dinner companion, an enthusiastic student and a sweetheart of a big brother. My mom is always angling for a chance to spend the day with him because he's just such a blast. He's only about a head shorter than I am. And, people, he can make his own breakfast.
I know from painful experience that as soon as you get used to whatever phase your kids are in, they change -- a lot and fast. Most of the time I've been pretty philosophical about that inevitability. Change is OK with me.
This year, however, I would really like to spend about a decade in this exact place on our family's evolving timeline. Do you remember that pop song from the '90s? 'Right here, right now. There is no other place I want to be.' That's me.
Of course, that song I remember so vividly is now 18 years old. And before I know what happened to my little boys, we'll be fording the churning waters of adolescence, cringing our way through middle school and fighting bitterly over the fact that I am committed completely to the belief that 16 is two years too young to drive.
While I know each of my sons will probably have another magic year or two, I really don't know if we'll ever again get two all at once.
So I want it on record: I will never say that I should have appreciated this year more. I know a good thing when I see it. And I am relishing every single moment of this double-perfect year.
|4+8 = yay|