Not That Long


Tayler went to a Girl Scouts campout this weekend, leaving us alone with Tyler. This was a rare treat for Carina and I: Tyler is so much more independent than her sister that we aren’t compelled to occupy her and keep her busy all weekend. Tayler is very much a people person, and has a hard time doing independent activities. Friday night after school Tyler disappeared into her room for several hours, coming out only for dinner. She played, put on makeup, and did her own thing, allowing Carina to focus on some school work and me to unwind in peace after a chaotic day at work. Before bed, Tyler watched some Monty Python’s Flying Circus with us, and even though she doesn’t appreciate all of the puns and language jokes, she loves the sight gags and absurd visuals.

Saturday morning I helped Tom brew a pumpkin ale. The entire brewing process was much easier than I expected, though I’m sure that’s largely due to Tom’s competence.

Saturday afternoon Carina and I took Tyler to Studio 35 to watch the OSU football game. I predicted that this would make Tyler feel like “a big girl”, doing something like this with her parents. I further predicted that she’d get bored before halftime. I was right on both counts. Tyler beamed with joy as we walked up to the theater, and she was in really good spirits as she received our undivided attention. She really did enjoy watching the game for about a quarter and a half. To my delight, she occupied herself throughout the rest of the game without getting into trouble. She played a few video games, and chatted with Carina and I, and was far more patient than I usually expect of her. After the game we all curled up to watch “The Fellowship of the Ring” at Tyler’s request. Elrond at one point makes some comment about “his people”, to which Tyler quipped “my peeps!” which had Carina and I laughing for several minutes.

Tyler’s good mood carried all through Sunday, and we treated her to lunch at her favorite Chinese buffet. It was here that Carina and I were both really struck by just how far she (and Tayler!) had come in just a few years.

It wasn’t that long ago that Tyler would spit in Tayler’s face just to make her sister angry (Tayler hated – and still hates! – to get dirty). It wasn’t that long ago that Tyler would rage for hours on end if she didn’t get her way. It wasn’t that long ago that Carina or I would have to physically restrain Tyler as she raged. It wasn’t that long ago that Tyler would make a terrible mess in her room as she “made potions” from whatever liquids she could sneak into her room. It wasn’t that long ago that Tyler stuffed our cat Ezra into a drawer in order to make her “calm down”.

Tayler, too, has really grown; but then Tayler’s always been a little more mature and certainly more eager to grow up.

It wasn’t that long ago when they required car seats. It wasn’t that long ago when I had to pour the milk for them. It wasn’t that long ago when they needed someone else to tie their shoes. It wasn’t that long ago when I could hold both girls in my arms at the same time. It wasn’t that long ago when I could entertain them for (literally!) hours just by making funny voices.

It’s wonderful to see my kids making smart jokes, and managing themselves (mostly) responsibly. It’s wonderful to share a laugh with the kids over what they did just a few years ago. And it’s wonderful to see glimmers of who they will be in a few short years from now. This really is a magical time in their lives.

It won’t be that long from now when they’ll start driving, and bringing boys home, and moving out…

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