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.