Five and a half & two and a half

Posted by Wood | Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Hi, everyone. It's Wood. It's been years since I've posted anything here on the main page. Jim left a few days ago on a camping trip with a handful of his best friends, guys he's known since his freshmen year in college. He was reluctant to go and pretty convinced that we couldn't possibly survive and manage to eat three meals a day without him. He was also worried about not being able to post here, and he made me promise that I'd write something. So far -- with my mom's help -- the kids have been fed and well cared for, and the only missed meals are the ones that Gram refuses to eat. Now if I can just post something here, maybe Jim won't wait four years before taking a break again.

Lately, more than usual, at the end of every day with the kids I wish that I could freeze them at their current ages. It isn't that I'm sad they are growing older, it's just that I don't trust myself to remember how incredible they are right now. It took me several hours last week before I could remember the name for asiago cheese; there is just no way that thirteen years from now, when Juniper goes off to college, I'll be able to remember more than a detail or two from this summer. Sure, I'll have the photos and the videos that Jim takes, but it's their perfectly age-appropriate personalities that I'm afraid I'll forget.

The girl, at nearly five and a half, is big and capable. She can swim, she can ride a horse, she can pump on the swings, she can do a handstand, and she can shimmy up a fireman's pole at the playground until she's far above our heads, calling out for us to look! and see! how high she is! before she gracefully glides down. She is small and scrappy, and the thing I love most about her right now is the way she practices her new skills over and over again on the playground until she gets them perfect.

The boy, at nearly two and a half, has opinions about everything and is no longer content just to tag along with his sister. He is the essence of two: obstinate, quick to scream every time he perceives injustice, and sometimes so frustrated that he curls up on the ground and sobs. He scowls and tells me to "go away" when I stop him from dunking toys in the toliet or drawing on the walls. But at bedtime, he is so sweet he is like a different child: he rests his head on my shoulder and sings me songs and whispers "I love you too," right before he curls up with his blanket and goes to sleep.

I am eager for their next ages; I can't wait to see what they're like at ages seven and four or nine and six. Already, I can sense that a few years from now, our lives will be easier with less minute-to-minute child-tending. The kids will both be able to dress themselves and buckle their shoes and get themselves snacks from the kitchen. Gram will stop dunking toys in the toliet, and Juniper will prefer to spend her summer afternoons with her friends, instead of with us. I love watching them grow, I just wish that I didn't forget everything so fast. I wish I could always remember what our house sounds and feels like with a five and a half and a two and a half year-old living in it.