Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Fast Forward

My oldest daughter recently turned twenty. To which I say . . . WOW. I mean . . . twenty?? Twenty is, as you might have heard, a two-digit number that has a two in the tens column. A two! We’ve gotten used to having teenagers around. For a while there, we had three of them, but now our oldest has moved Beyond Teenager.

It was twenty years ago that we went on that four-mile walk trying to encourage labor to start (it didn’t work). Twenty years ago that my husband penned that note that said “Place Baby Here” with an arrow, and put it in the crib. Twenty years ago that I wore those blue and white flowered maternity pants with the gray-striped T-shirt with the red logo—good grief, what a combo. What was I thinking? Perhaps this was the root of that unfortunate fashion era my daughter went through eleven or twelve years later, represented by a large, red, batwing sweater and tie-dyed pants. Ask her about it sometime; she likes to discuss this era in her fashion history.

It’s strange how fast time is moving now. When the kids are young, it kind of seems like they’ll be young forever—or at least someone in the house will be young; you’ll have babies and toddlers and diapers and binkies in perpetuity. Then, bit by bit, milestones begin to creep past—or rather your children begin to creep past milestones. Your oldest child starts school. Your second child starts school. Your third child becomes a world-renowned paleontologist and moves to South Dakota to excavate dinosaur bones (Okay, that milestone hasn’t happened, but don’t anybody blink or we might miss it).

And here’s the really weird thing: once one child grows up, it sets you on this downhill rollercoaster slope. I have five kids, and they’re all growing up in fast motion. No more diapers in the house? Check. All the kids in school (holy moly!)?—check. One kid in college? Check. TWO kids in college? Check, as of this fall. And while you’re thrilled for your kids and it’s wonderful to see them growing up, it’s a little poignant to realize that it won’t be that long before you’ll have no one to take trick-or-treating.

Kids really do grow up. Apparently, that’s not just a myth.

In other news, on Memorial Day, we had a fun family trip to the beach and then to Point Lobos in Monterey. It was 63 degrees and sunny at the beach, which is about as good as you can expect at the coast (it can be 100 degrees inland and in the 60s at the coast). If you’re visiting the beach in northern California, summer or winter, bring a sweatshirt. If you want to actually get into the water, bring a wetsuit or an exceedingly strong constitution. We go the wetsuit route (short wetsuits—knee length and elbow length). It’s SUPER cold when you first walk into the water, but if you just stick with it for a few minutes, venting your pain by shrieking, you’ll be fine and can have fun boogie boarding. Optional bonus activities: drinking seawater, getting sand in your ears, stepping on something unknown that you think might be a creature.

Here are a few pictures of Point Lobos.


  1. My youngest son turned 24 this past May 23rd. He celebrated his first wedding anniversary two days before that. My only other child, (he's 27) is marrying his fiance in eleven days in the Draper Temple. At that point I will officially be classified an "empty nester." I guess time really doesn't wait for men (or women).

    Those are beautiful pictures.

  2. Funny how time goes so fast now, but when you're a kid, it takes forever just to get to Christmas! Congrats, Debra, on the upcoming wedding!

  3. Love those pictures! And I totally know what you mean about time flying, although I have two in college, four at home, and two in diapers. What's wrong with THAT picture? haha.

  4. And if you go into the water in Oregon, even in the summer, bring ice picks. (end of June, 50 degree water temperature!) Those pictures are gorgeous, though. Sounds very nice. (wistful sigh) I miss having a beach with waves.

    And we're going down that kid-journey from -3 months and counting. (Remember when you had to wear your first maternity dress? Remember how much you hated it?)

  5. Julie, you are AWESOME!

    Jon, I actually thought it was a thrill when I started wearing maternity clothes :) Starting to "show" was fun. The problem is that now, I "show" all the time, but I'm not pregnant . . . Good luck on your parenting journey! I remember when Amy was born and I felt like "No one told me it was hard." But then you get the hang of it, and you're off and running and soon you won't be able to remember what it was like to not have children around.

  6. That part of California is so beautiful. I know what you mean, having lived in San Fran for a couple of years. On the rare occasion it got warm enough to go to the beach, the only thing you could pray for in the water was that it would numb you quickly. =D

    And the kids do grow up so fast. The way time flies by just isn't fair. By the time you're old enough to enjoy life, it just flies by.

  7. :) At least you can always count on the beach as a place to cool off . . .

    And it's true that the older you get, the faster time goes. What the heck?