I sat with the boys the other night at dinner and the conversation went a little like this:
Me: what did you guys do today?
CJ: played with Julia. Her brothers were there.
Me: Oh yeah? How old are her brothers?
CJ: Old. Like, I think 52. They're in kindergarten.
Later that night, I went to my school's graduation. My role there allowed me not only to help get the graduates ready backstage, but also to sit with them during the ceremony. As I helped pin flowers on the gowns, I'm pretty sure I got a contact high from one kid. "I hate you right now for smoking before your graduation," I told him. His response? "I know, my mom told me the same thing." And in that single moment, my mind instantly launched ahead about 14 years. Is that a conversation I might have with my son someday??
We walked down the long aisle at the theater and I watched in admiration as these young adults paraded proudly to their seats. Here it was: the moment they had been waiting for. And again, I looked around and reflected. I was seated amongst KIDS who had been forced to act like adults well before their time. KIDS who were parents, who were caretakers for their own caretakers, who left midterm exams early in order to get to a full-time job on time. KIDS living with life threatening illnesses, and KIDS wondering where they were sleeping that night. KIDS. Robbed of their childhoods. And in that moment, I couldn't have been prouder of them.
So we hugged, cheered, cried, and parted ways. Them: in to the rest of their lives, and Me: to start preparing my own kids for the rest of theirs. We've got two months together to reach some very serious goals. Yay for summer!
Goal number four- potty train Ty. Goal number three- find something to do with the mass amount of toys in this house that does not include apologizing to visitors for possibly sitting on, stepping on, or tripping over them. Goal number two- Go to the gym. A lot.
So far this summer (and it's only been two days) we've picked strawberries, finger painted with shaving cream, played with hoses, colored on the driveway, and visited with friends we haven't seen in a while. Ty's worn diapers both days, I'm pretty sure that Lightening McQueen is shoved between my couch cushions right now, and I'm waiting till tomorrow to start the whole gym routine. Why? Because Goal number one is most important to me- PRESERVE INNOCENCE. (And pray that they'll remember what a glorious childhood I gave them, and decide NOT to show up at graduation high).