After Cub Scout Pack Meeting, Patch and I retrieved his bike from among the dozens clustered near the rack. Patch climbed on the bike and rode ahead of me while I walked. His knees almost hit his handle bars. Time for a new bike. This, along with the switch to the top bunk and the eradication of Blues Clues from his room decor, have made abundantly clear that my boy is not so little anymore. With Link grown taller than his parents, I am quite able to picture the future those skinny legs are pedaling toward.
We rounded the corner into our cul de sac to see Gleek cruising along on her ripstik. This two-wheeled, swiveling skateboard is the latest cool thing among the kids of our neighborhood. Gleek bought hers with her own money and has ascended to a level of grace on it which astounds all of us. She turned and smiled at us, giving her head an extra flick to send her newly-short hair brushing against her face. She swooped down a driveway and in a circle around me before swiveling off again. She too is growing fast and changing daily.
I expected it of my teenagers. Teens are future bound from the minute they hit puberty. I was a little startled today by these younger ones who will join their older siblings so very soon. We’re nearing the end game of this parenting project. I know that in real terms, parenting never ends. I also know that grandparenting lies somewhere in my future. I’m not ready for that yet, but some day it will be a marvelous thing. Years ago, when I was mired in the midst of toddler and preschooler care, I was admonished to enjoy it because some day I would miss it. I replied that I would enjoy missing it, which is an accurate assessment of how I now feel about those early years. Days like today I will miss. I will look back to this time when I had two still turning to me and two beginning to launch toward adulthood. Like Patch on his bike and Gleek on her ripstik, we can not stop; stopping the forward motion makes us fall. Instead I will not be in a hurry. I will try to pay attention. Then at least I will have many clear memories instead of these moments disappearing in a blur of busy-ness.