Sunday, August 07, 2005

Innocence



I've been thinking about a trip we took to California a little over 3 years ago. It was a trip I was going on for work and I decided to bring the whole family. I've been thinking about this particular trip the past couple of days because I'll probably be taking a similar one in the next couple of months. This vacation stands out in my mind for a few reasons. It was the first time the girls had flown, the first time Mark and I had gone anywhere far together, etc. Anna was 6 and Emma was 4. I had bought them these little matching denim 'Mary Kate and Ashley' jackets with fur collars, and they were so perfectly cute. I can remember watching them play at Yellowstone Nat'l Park in those matching jackets, thinking what great ages they were at and how I should I really soak in the moment. Before I knew it, they wouldn't want to own anything that matched what the other had and probably wouldn't want to play with each other. So much of the innocence would be lost. I thought this many times during the trip; how lucky we were to have this time together and also, how lucky I was to still be in the moment where they liked to go places with us. I imagined 3 or 4 years down the road when they would be 10 and 8 and how incredibly different it would likely be. It made me want to cry, knowing that my little girls wouldn't be so little anymore.
Well, 'then' is now. They're almost 10 and 8 now. Anna, my oldest, almost wears the same shoe size as me and is in the beginning stages of puberty. Emma is almost as tall as Anna and starting second grade next week. But, the surprising thing is how wrong I was about what I imagined 3 years ago. Sure, they've changed in many ways. They wouldn't be caught dead wearing matching outfits. They're more likely to play alone more often in their own rooms, instead of together. But they still are happy to hold my hand, and come and sit in my lap and hug me. They still want me to go places with them and hang out. I didn't see that one coming but it sure is a pleasant surprise. The great thing is I can have mature conversations with them now, where we talk about their friends, our family, the past, and the future. Our relationship is changing and we are becoming friends. It's growing in that direction a little more every year.
I know hard times are coming with the teenage years, and dating, and all that goes along with it. And no, I'm probably not prepared. Hopefully, it will all go along a little smoother than what I'm anticipating. For now though, I'll cherish THIS time in our lives. I'll try to appreciate the innocence a little longer. While it lasts.

2 comments:

klanglee said...

Whoa! I just realized that was a whole 3 years ago...I remember that whole event (jackets and all) like it was yesterday, too. What a great time that was!

Anonymous said...

Speaking of losing your innocense, I went with this really cool guy to my senior prom back in 85'. He was nice, but he did not appreciate how smart and witty I really was.

Sincerely,
Heather Armstrong