Saturday, August 26, 2006

Rites of passage

An invitation to a birthday party seems to be a rite of passage in our culture these days. This morning, Maddie is off to her first. For years now, she's watched her sisters head off to various parties and she has dreamed of the day that it would be her turn. Today it was her turn. She's talked about it all week and was more than just a little excited. This morning, her sisters helped her get ready - one of them helped her tie the bow on her shirt, the other helped write out the card. I wish you could see her new sneakers on this picture - she's SO proud of them. Pink faux-converse. Too cute.
Julie is itching to become a driver. She drives every chance she gets. She's learned to drive her Pépère's (that's French for grandfather) lawn tractor, and sat on my lap last week as she drove our car around Marcel's parents' yard. Yesterday we went to Thunder Rapids and she lived out a little part of her dream by driving a go-cart like a little speed-demon.

Nothing makes me realize how muck Nikki is growing up like watching her take responsibility for her little cousin. She dotes over her every chance she gets and handles her like an old pro. She's always been so responsible. I remember when Maddie was learning to crawl - she often kept a closer eye on her than I did. And now she's doing the same thing for little Abigail. Last night, she got to feed her carrots.
The pieces of my children's lives are passing before me like a fast-paced movie on the big screen. Sometimes I wish I could grab the remote control and hit re-wind so I can re-live some of the really good parts. If not re-wind, then I'd at least hold the pause button down now and then to keep them from passing into the next stage quite so quickly. The growing up and the growing away hurts sometimes.

At the same time, I get such a rush when I look at them and realize the incredible people they are growing up to be. Yesterday was one of those days as we mini-golfed and drove go-carts and bumper boats. As much as I loved their baby-hood, I'm also loving their budding independence when I can sit on the sidelines a little more and watch them grow and become.

How did I get so lucky?


Judy said...

Ah, my friend, you are blessed!

I loved watching my kids grow up.

And, I love that they DID grow up. They are very interesting adults who I like very much to be with.

Also, grandchildren are a great reward!

The very nice man said...

How did you get so lucky??
It's because the Lord loves you and wants to litter your path with goodness, just like you want to with your kids.

Gina said...

The old cliche is so true, it happens so fast!

I am enjoying Mr. P as well as he changes right before my eyes!

Dale said...

Remember my dad's advice when Daniel was born? I passed it on to Dan when David was born.

Hold their hands, Heather. Hold their hands every chance you get.

Coll said...

Yes .. it all passes much too quickly. I often wonder at the fact that my children are now all grown and even my grandkids are in their teens. Every minute becomes so precious.

Linda said...

Children growing up can be bitter sweet. Sometimes, when I'm going through pictures, I just wish for one day when they were little. But I too am having great pleasure seeing my children grow up and make decisions. I too am blessed.

Hope said...

I share your sentiments , Heather....
just yesterday I watched my son helping my grandaughter. He is so wonderful with her.
You're going to be a great dad, I told him. Without a hint a embarassment he said, yeah, I know.
Helping care and support younger children is such a wonderful opportunity for childen to nuture rather than be nutured.

Liz said...

I know what you mean. My baby starts high school tomorrow! Very cute pictures!

Dwight said...

That reminds me. The other day when we spent the evening at Mom & Paul's and your girls were there too, I thought to myself, "I have to tell Heather how impressed I am with her daughters. They're getting to be such responsible, responsive young ladies." They really are. Way to go!

oshee said...

I can relate to your entire post.

You are lucky. I am lucky too. It is such a blessing to have these amazing little people in our lives.

Amber said...

And ARE so blessed. What beautiful shots of a beautiful family!

Janet said...

Heather, I'll echo the statements of others. You ARE SO VERY lucky, and you deserve it, too.

Thanks for sharing your lovely family with all of us...once again!