“I’m going to be an adult!” my granddaughter shouted when we called to wish them a happy new year on New Year’s morning last week. “Yes, I know” I said, thinking she meant years and years from now. Then realizing that her exclamation carried a certain urgency about it, I blurted “When?! What do you mean?” “I mean this decade, the one we just started – I’m going to be an adult in this decade, and so is Luke.” Wait – she is nine and a half years old and her brother is eleven and a half. Surely their adulthood is eons away – right? But no, the age of majority varies by state in the United States and indeed for most of them, including Illinois where we live, the age is 18. That means in eight and a half short years for her and six and a half really short years for our grandson, they will be able to do all kinds of things that portend adulthood.
That can’t be, can it? What happened to the little boy and little girl who slept over at our house and ran into our bedroom, jumped onto our king sized bed to let us know it was time to get up. “What are we going to do today, Nana?” That was just a minute ago!
But they’re both at that age now when they are starting to blossom out in various ways – testing those wings. For him, friends, sleepovers, playing basketball and soccer, thinking of high school just a few years away. For her, it’s friends, sleepovers, ballet recitals and basketball. It’s with pride, laughter and fun, and a certain amount of bittersweet, that I watch this change: their exuberance (and ours) over what is to come, marveling at what they already know, wonder at who they will be, as we did with their father those years ago. We, and they, watch as they are hovering between being little kids and soon enough charging into teen age, and then grown up life still thankfully some precious years away. But there’s no getting around it, we, and they, are definitely heading onto the doorstep of being ‘tweens.
Wishing you all a very happy new year filled with the awe and joy of what’s next. Enjoy every fabulous minute with those you love!