It is Birthday Week here. Jane turned 5 on Sunday and Scott turned 8 today. I am officially a mom to two school-aged kids. It is always a busy time with family gatherings and friend parties, cakes and treats to make for school. I both dread and look forward to the celebrating, trying to be fair to both children while also not going overboard. We are right in the thick of it with two events down and three to go.
This year, I am struck by how grown up both kids seem. Jane is so self possessed, a happy princess, announcing proudly that she is five now! Ready for anything, exuding self-confidence.
I look at Scott and I realize what a turning point this is. Eight, for me, was when I stopped being a little kid. I have some memories from being five and six, and a few more at seven, but by eight, I really remember stuff. Not just what happened, but how I felt. It was the year that I realized there wasn't a Santa Claus, that I couldn't do everything and anything I wanted, that my mom and dad weren't always right. I had my first crush, took my first trip without my parents, and got in trouble at school for not listening. Big things.
Jane is coming into the wonderful time of Kindergarten and forever friends. She still gets to be the little kid who can sing the days of the week, but also is part of the bigger kid world, getting on the bus, able to attend summer camps, and play with the older children.
Scott is entering the time when you learn that being a kid is often difficult. You might still get to play a lot, but you have hard work to do at school, chores at home, and responsibilities. You realize that many kids aren't all that nice. That your mom can't fix everything. That life is complex.
Eight and Five.
It is hard to believe.