This past weekend I had a dragon boat festival and was away from the family for Friday - Sunday. Not something I've done a lot of. The kids were on my mind often. There was a 10ish-year-old girl that reminded me so much of Hannah that she startled me every time I saw her. She had on an orange t-shirt like one Hannah used to wear way too often, she was long and thin with blond hair. For a split second I'd think it was Hannah, then I would realize it wasn't Hannah and that Hannah hasn't been that "short" for several years. I couldn't wait to get home to Hannah and hug her. That little girl at the festival kept Hannah ever present in my mind. I realized anew how the girls are growing up. Hey, I was away for the weekend. If that's not evidence that they're growing up, I don't know what is.
When we are taking our boat to the starting line we're supposed to be totally focused, "all energy in the boat", not looking outside the boat for anything. Saturday, at the end of the lake near the starting line, there was a spot where a few spectators sat. They were far away from the crowd sitting in their own quiet private spot.
(This picture is Hannah in "that" orange t-shirt, 2007)
As we approached the starting line, I heard a crystal clear "hi". My heart instantly smiled, my face joined in. I "left" the boat -- meaning, I let my focus drift to the little girl who stood there so innocently seeing if anyone would answer her greeting. I smiled and waved before I realized what I'd done. The innocence of that little girl gripped my heart. "Hi," she said so sweetly and trusting. It was precious.
My kids have grown/are growing up so quickly. Some days it staggers me with sadness, other days I bite my tongue, hard, so I won't yell, "I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE EMPTY NEST SYNDROME."
A few nights ago Hannah came into the living room and said, "Adam is so weird, so lame." I asked why and she said they were chatting (via computer) and he started talking about puberty and how boys have it worse than girls because, and I quote, boys "have urges."
The word "urges" in our family is barely shy of a curse word. Gordon and I have a skit that I'm dying to perform for someone. We haven't had opportunity to perform, but our poor kids have had to endure it a few times. In our skit, the main word is "urges" and it's kind of sick. You'd have to see the skit to get it. Suffice to say, "urges" is a gross word to us.
Imagine Hannah's disdain when Adam started talking "urges". Adam told her about "boy urges" and then said, "Do girls have urges?"
Hannah was mortified. Rachael and I both screamed, "Well, what did you say?"
Hannah said, "I said, 'I don't know, why don't you ask one.' Then I logged off."