When you get pregnant, whether it's with your first or your fifth, people always tell you, "Don't blink!" As in "They grow up so fast!" and "You'll SO miss this!" Which is hard to appreciate and remember when you're going through sleepless nights or potty training.
I always tried hard to be in the moment and appreciate (or poke fun of) all of these milestone moments so I didn't feel like I "blinked."
A bit ago, Creepy Lizard met an untimely demise when his stomach exploded, and he was laid to rest. Strip was hysterical and NEEDED a picture, so I pulled one up on my phone for her. When she asked, "Where did you get that?!" and I responded, "the blog." she had to read more. She and Nugget were HYSTERICALLY laughing. Not at dramatic funny posts, but at the funny, every day, you are my kids and crack me up posts.
I need to write more down! *Blink*
Long drives turn to story time. "Can I read stories from that Nugget and Strip page?" You've read them all. "Well, tell us a funny story!" I think you know them all! *Blink* I realized that the silly, every-day things I might not remember turn into HILARIOUS stories for the kids.
I should start writing this down again! *Blink*
The next thing I know, we're walking into a middle school. Not for a play for a friend. Not for a chorus concert. Not for a campus outreach project. For curriculum night. For Strip. Who will be in middle school. SOON. Granted, we're not sure that she'll actually GO to said middle school (school zones/school choice/hardship/don't get me started), but we're going through the motions. Even though I told her I'm just going to hold her back for a few years because she can't be in 6th grade! Thankfully, Hubs was in town for the evening, so we made it a family affair. Strip cautiously wandered around making little to no contact with ANY of the booth reps, graciously taking a flyer (or not) and only talking to chorus, yearbook, and some other club that incorporates art and writing.
Nugget on the other hand? Gone. He spotted a static electricity ball (and his hair is QUITE shaggy at the moment), so he LOVED being "charged" and shocking others. 15 minutes later, Middle School whipped out the drone, and he was GONE. I'm a bit afraid that as we were encouraging Strip to "go for it" and "sign up for that," Nugget had applied to 19 different middle school clubs and he's in 3rd grade.
After the first lap, she met up with some 5th grade buddies, and Hubs and I may as well been in the car because she was GONE. Chatting it up, showing everyone around, encouraging others to find their group. It was so sweet. And sad. And awesome. And scary. And wonderful.
And as I stood back from the t-shirt table where she was selecting her swag, and thought about having a 6th grader (A SIXTH GRADER). I blinked.
And it was awesome. Because blinking allows you to clear your lens and focus on what you are looking at instead of trying to focus through the clouds. I can focus on a great, sweet, excited-about-life, fearless yet fearful, concerned about others tween who is embracing all of these changes and emotions and loving every moment of it. And blinking also allows me to clear the lens and find where in the world my over-confident, fearless, careless 3rd grader has wandered off to and scratch his name off of 6 committee lists and telling him to STOP playing with electrical currents.
And blinking also helps to effortlessly clear away tears as you realize that smocked dress wearing, picture-drawing for her bus driver, innocent little kindergartner has suddenly transformed into a beautiful, smart, caring, middle school girl. Which I still can't wrap my head around because I swear Hubs and I JUST got married.