family life

who are my kids? my little women, and little man

The days are long, still the years are short.

A three day twelfth birthday extravaganza has nearly done me in. I’ll need some downtime. But some days are long, still the years are short. Make the memories live large, and this birthday they were large.

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Madelyn and I planned the details for weeks. We printed a play from Louisa May Alcott’s book Little Women.

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We rented period costumes at the local Pandora’s Box. We dressed the table in florals and creams, washed my china and made fruit tarts, a bundt cake and cucumber tea sandwiches.

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Without sharing the theme with Hannah, we watched the 1990s flick the night before for movie night, paying attention to details. Then I discovered the significance of the theme.

At twelve, our Hannah is growing up, becoming a little woman herself. Particular quotes popped to mind as I thought of her…I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning to sail my ship. Or, I’ve got the key to my castle in the air, but whether I unlock the door remains to be seen.

I know my twelve year old self would have appreciated: You don’t need scores of suitors. You need only one, if he’s the right one. And a lesson I’m learning right now: Don’t try to make me grow up before my time.

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Childhood is a journey, not a race.

If I’d only understood when it all began twelve years ago that childhood is a journey, not a race, I might not have been so quick to forge my way through the sleepless night stage, the tantrum twos (or threes, or fours), the sassy fives.

But how was I to learn the important things of life without the lessons children teach?

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It’s Monday morning, the party weekend is over.

I have counters of dishes to put away, loads of laundry and studies to start, and mangled gift wrap to pick off the floor.

I think I’ll get my morning coffee and cuddle close with whoever is awake and relish these little women, and young man, while I have them.

2 thoughts on “who are my kids? my little women, and little man

  1. You are a person after my own heart! When my oldest dd was about 14 I came home one day to find every stick of the furniture on the lawn outside the log house we lived in. My oldest dd had commandeered her 5 younger siblings and the neighbor children to move the furniture outside and wash all the log walls, floors etc. When I asked her what she was doing she replied, “We are spring cleaning the house the way they do in the Little House on the Prairie books,” To which I replied, “Well just make sure you have everything back in before dark.” (I had great faith in this resourceful child.) They did!

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