It is fully June now and I have yet to write the family calendar on the white board. I keep glancing at it on the way in or out of the house and it provides no reassurance that I am not missing something or forgetting to send something to school. It is jarring how much I rely on that white board. In my head, I know that this week is the last week of the six week scramble that was the end of hockey, parks and rec t ball and soccer, and the end of a year long once a week ballet/tap class. I know her field day is today, that Steve has a Red Sox game tomorrow night, that the dance dress rehearsal will require a miracle on Friday.

Time flies by, as it always does. It races by at an alarmingly fast speed as the warmer months creep in and the too fast to pass summer lies just ahead of us.

Caroline prepares to become a first grader and we marvel at her progress this year; socially, academically and physically. She gets herself dressed, makes her bed, stands on a stool and makes toast or waffles for herself and Connor. She shows determination and competitiveness that rival her own stubborn parents. She displays maturity and we have finally reached a place where she can find humor in some of the silly things Connor says that as a six year old she knows the answers to and he as a preschooler does not. "Oh Connor, you know caterpillars don't eat sticks!" And boy, does that kid have questions about Everything? Our quiet little shy Connor has come into his own in great strides over the past year; making observations, asking non-stop questions, his mind working at alarming speeds to make sense of everything in sight. With a first grade bound girl and a preschooler firmly engrossed in his life at school, I realize reflecting on this time that we have entered what I will look back and refer to as the golden years of our family. For all the strife and running around and last minute patient emergencies that keep me from my typical pick up plans and all the counting to three, this is the very best time. The kids are old enough that we are no longer limited by their developmental stage when we make plans, no naps to consider skipping, no strollers to lug. I cannot tell you how floored I was when I realized we need to research bike racks to bring the kids' bikes to the cape this summer. My kids will have bikes on the Cape this summer. Do you even know what this means, world??

It isn't all honey. We talk about big kid stuff now. The worries are bigger and the answers harder. I spend more time tucking Caroline in at night, feeling her hands brushing the hair from my face gently, admiring her freckles and dimple. I linger when putting Connor back to bed during a middle if the pee-mergency feeling the weight on his body on my shoulder. They need me less and less and when they do I have noticed I am more eager to fulfill their whims. It is all just going so fast.

When Steve and I recently spent a night away in the city and reaffirmed our plans to sell our home and buy that amazing waterfront condo someday downtown. (We will split time between the city and the shore, of course) I felt a pang because they won't be there anymore, in that place we are still crafting as ours (thank you expensive new windows). Steve said, "well, we will only need a one bedroom." "No," I almost shouted. We need a bedroom for everyone because even if it isn't their home, it will be the place they come home to and there needs to a space for everyone and all the new people who will join them over the decades ahead and become a piece in this mcpuzzle.

It's easy to forge ahead, think of those times. It is harder to imagine them really happening, but they will. Until then, I need to remind myself that these golden years are a flash and ensure that I treat them as the precious thing they are.


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