On turning 21 again

 

Today is my birthday. I turned 21 times 2. But I still think that I am 21. I started my day off having coffee in the hot tub. It was a cool morning. 

Then I went for a 12 mile run.  Seriously, who needs birthday spankings??!? I wore my shirt that says ‘I run because punching people is frowned upon” just because I like that shirt.  

  

Then I spent the afternoon at work.

  

After work I came home and played the yard game Kubb with the kids. It involves knocking down blocks with sticks. It was fun until I asked the kids to clean up. Then they tried to knock each other’s blocks off with sticks. It involved throwing blocks at each other, crying, slapping, and breaking things with a touch of swearing.  I was really hoping the kids wouldn’t fight for my birthday. Maybe next year… 

 

Paul had play practice tonight, so I went out to eat with the kids. I got my free birthday beer, Blu Bobber with blueberries in it.

I feel like I’m 21 again!

The purge

I was always a writer. I started scribbling in diaries before I could write. Now those old letters seem strangely reminiscent of hieroglyphics found in a dark cave. It doesn’t make sense to me anymore. It is not even me anymore.

I wrote my first book in grade school. I wrote for hours and hours a fictional story about a girls orphanage. It was a childhood dream of mine to give lonely little girls a home. I wrote a story about their struggles and how I saved them. Then my middle school self thought that it was stupid and threw it out. Then I began to write my story.

Almost 5 years ago, I became friends with my ex-boyfriend Brad on Facebook. I asked him for my old pictures back. He sent me a big stack of my pictures to my home address. These were childhood pictures too old to be on digital print. He wanted one thing in return, his diary back. When I was going out with Brad he was in the military and kept a diary while he was on a Navy ship.

I searched through my stack of old journals. I found the diary and started to read it. I was hoping to find a riveting piece of historical non-fiction. But instead found a romantic novel obsessing about me. It contained page after page of personal biography about my life, my family, and my struggles. There was no way I was going to give that back, so I threw it out. We were both happily married to other people. I thought it would be forgotten, but I thought wrong.

It was also at that time that I threw out all of my high school notes written back and forth between friends. My childhood wasn’t the happiest part of my life. I was afraid that my children (my oldest at the time was 13) would find them. I didn’t want them to see me. I didn’t want them to be like the teen me.

Those were hard days. It seemed like I was always searching for that glimmer of hope. I spent a long time in the dark grasping for light before I got out. Now it lingers behind me in another dimension like an abyss or black hole. I feel if I go back it will trap me and I will never be able to leave again. This weekend I felt a lot of sorrow where there should’ve been nostalgia. My demons were restless. 

So I purged away the old high school notes and Brad’s diary forever. Unfortunately, at the same time, I think I accidently threw out all of the letters that my mom sent me when she was in the hospital with my brother Matt. I feel very sad about that. But I don’t feel bad about Brad’s diary. Thankfully I kept all of my diaries.

There was a time (after I was dating a guy named Mac) when the words I wrote were powerful enough to almost destroy me. Mac found my diaries. Unbeknownst to me, he read them and tore out a few pages. He later tried to blackmail me with my own words. He threatened to send pages of my diary to my family members unless I took him back. It was terrifying, but I didn’t go back. Eventually he mailed the missing pages back to me. I certainly didn’t want something like that to happen again. I thought that Brad would move on with his life and forget all about it.

Then something happened, Brad’s wife passed away. Brad started contacting my mom asking if I was happy in my marriage because he still has feelings for me. It freaked my mom out and she warned me. A couple of months after that, I expressed sadness over the unexpected death of my neighbor. Brad sent me a message saying that he would be a shoulder to lean on.  

Then a month ago, Brad sent me a message asking for the diary back. I told him that I threw it out. I sent him a nice message saying how I hope that someday he will be happy again and how that has nothing to do with me. His future is not in the past. We haven’t dated since the early 1990’s when I was still in high school. 

Then this weekend my dad said that he received a long email from Brad stating that he was upset and hurt that I threw out the diary. He still has feelings for me. My dad said that his message was a little “off”. WTH?? I haven’t even seen him for over 20 years. Twenty years!! Two decades!! Why the hell is he bugging my parents about a stupid diary he wrote about me in 1992?? 

This is so insane that I can’t even believe that I am writing about this. Why does this craziness happen to me? Seriously, I wasn’t that great of a girlfriend. I am not even the same girl that I used to be. 

Back to the present

Today I struggled with what to write. I want to go back to my autism series that I started earlier this month but so much is happening in my life right now. How can I talk about the past when the present is exciting, here, and almost gone?? I will finish it though. With the marathon last weekend and my first child’s graduation this weekend, I have a thousand thoughts and emotions running through my head. And it all has to fit into one post per day that should contain an average of 500 words. Lol.

Last night, Paul and I decided to call our parents to try to convince them into going to Angel’s graduation. I called my dad and asked him directly if he was going. Now I typically call my dad twice a year, on his birthday and on Father’s Day. So it was a big deal that I was calling him. He seemed happy to hear from me. He told me that Angel was a nice and good girl. He said that he was planning on going to her graduation. I was floored. Then he even asked me how my marathon went. I was shocked that the whole conversation was very positive.

Then I walked out of my bedroom to find that things didn’t go quite as well with Paul and his mom. Martha was on the phone with Angel saying that she wasn’t feeling well and wouldn’t be able to make it. But this time she is really sick. So sick that she couldn’t make it in to her chemo appointment yesterday. I believe that she is really sick this time. But I liken it to the story of the boy that called wolf. Martha has been calling wolf so many times over the past several years that now my mind finds it had to believe that there is a wolf.

But there is a wolf. Martha has terminal cancer, the big devouring wolf. A few weeks ago, Martha was going to go with me to see Angel perform her solo and ensemble pieces at state. Martha was supposed to be at my house by nine. I waited around until 11:00, Martha didn’t show up or call. By that time I had already missed half of Angel’s performances. At 11, Paul called his mom and she was still at home an hour away from our house. She wasn’t feeling good enough to go but didn’t bother to call. She was going to try to make it out to eat with us later that evening for Mother’s Day.

I knew that Martha was sick. But it still brought up all of those old feelings that I had towards her for standing up my kids. I was very angry and hurt. I drove fast to get to the remainder of Angel’s events. I was pissed that I wasn’t there to support Angel when I told her I would be there to watch her. Then I even started to feel a little guilty that I was angry with my mother-in-law who is dying. So I have become tolerant. I have repressed the years of resentment, hurt, and anger.

It is hard because now I think that Martha might want to go to Angel’s graduation. But it is too late now. She should have gone to more things when she was able to. She should have been the involved grandparent then. Now it is much too late.

 

The (not so) little things

This past weekend we took my mother-in-law out for Mother’s Day. I also took Friday off to spend the day with my mom. We went for a massage then I took her out to Red Lobster for seafood. The rest of the week previous to Mother’s Day, I spent being a mother. I watched my kids perform more days than I didn’t. It was fun but busy, busy, busy.

Paul was gone almost all of last week for work. I was happy to hear that our business friends missed me. They said that Paul was downright boring without me around. I suspected that. LOL. I am the one that is up for anything. Well, except zip lining. I would never do that. I received a message from a friend saying that she missed me at the conference and hoped I was having a great Mother’s Day. It really meant a lot.

Saturday Angel went to state for her solo and ensemble pieces at my old college campus. It was strange walking through those halls again. I haven’t been on campus since I graduated 19 years ago. Nothing really changed much on campus, except for me. I am not the same person that lived on crackers, minute rice, and macaroni and cheese. I was thinking about that as I was sitting in the same location that I used to eat my meager snacks. It was strange being there with my daughter who is close to the age I was back then. Some day I will have to tell you some pretty good stories about my psycho roommates, but I have so many more stories to get through before that.

By the time Mother’s Day rolled around on Sunday, I just wanted to stay home!

We did go to church on Mother’s Day. I sang a solo about motherhood, my two daughters performed in the Mother’s Day celebration as well. Then I forced the kids to stay home and spend time with me. We played indoor and outdoor games. We even went for a family walk around the neighborhood like we did when the kids were small. Except, of course, this time they were not sitting in a wagon, stroller, or in a back pack.

I took joy in the little things. I didn’t want gifts or jewelry, I just wanted everyone to get along for the day. I thought the day went pretty well, except it could’ve been warmer. 

I received my favorite Mother’s Day gift several years back. I told Paul that I wanted him to put up a clothesline for me in the backyard. I have a bit of a laundry fetish. Since my old washer started smoking, I’ve been wanting to write many posts about my joy over my new front loading washer. But I thought I would spare you from that. You’re welcome! Angel and I sat in front of the new washer with a bowl of popcorn for the first load. We lead pathetic lives in WI. I’ll blame it on the cold climate and lack of sunshine. 

Anyway, Paul constructed a clothesline for Mother’s Day. Nothing relaxes me more than hanging laundry on the line and watching it billow gently in the breeze. That very summer, I received a call from the gas company worried that our gas meter was not working right. I told them that I wasn’t using my gas dryer as much anymore. Then they thanked me for going green. Hey, at least my fetish saves the planet! LOL. 

That year Angel was taking an art class in school. She wanted to make me a necklace for Mother’s Day. We came up with the idea that the cord for the necklace could be a clothesline. Then she designed a pair of shorts to be hanging from the clothesline. Maybe that is why I like sailing. There is nothing like watching sheets blow on the lines. Hmmm… 

Sometimes it is the (not so) little things in life that mean the most. 

Our last supper

Paul and I decided to take his mother Martha out to eat for one last Mother’s Day celebration where we can all be together.

A quick recap…Martha has stage 4 lung cancer that has already spread to her brain. This will most likely be her last Mother’s Day. Plus we were able to go out with all of our kids. This will also be the last time the kids are all living at home since Angel will be in college next year several hours away. So this was the big hurrah!

We took the family out to a Japanese steak house for hibachi. Martha doesn’t get to enjoy fine dining often and was very happy for the opportunity to go out. She was very sick earlier in the day from her chemo, so we weren’t even sure the evening out would happen. We thought about just cooking a nice meal at our house. But since this is the last time, we decided to go to a small quiet restaurant and make it memorable.

We had a wonderful hibachi chef. Arabella even tried some raw tuna sushi to get ready for her trip to Japan this fall. She is very brave. Martha was wearing a baseball cap to cover her bald head. Paul made sure that she received a special chef hat that they reserve for birthday parties. I took a lot of pictures.

When we received the bill, we were told that Martha’s supper was paid for. Someone at the table next to ours covered her bill.

Paul went over to the table and thanked the man. They embraced. Later the man followed Paul into the parking lot. He told Paul that his mother passed away a few months ago from cancer. He wanted Paul to pass on this generosity someday to another person going through the same thing.

Once again, the two grown men embraced. Total strangers sharing a moment of sorrow over their dead and dying mothers on Mother’s Day weekend.

Together they wept in each others arms.

I have never seen two big masculine men sobbing together in a parking lot before. Complete strangers for a brief moment sharing the same pain.

It was very moving.

 

What I really want for Mother’s Day

You have expressed concerns that you do not have money to buy me anything for Mother’s Day, but it is not your gifts that I want. I want something much more difficult than that.

I want peace. 

I am sick of hearing your constant fighting. I don’t like how you tease each other and put each other down. I have had enough. I don’t care if you have to fake that you like each other.

I want hope.

I  want to believe you have a good future. I want you to be organized. I want you to turn in your assignments on time. I want you to enjoy life long learning. I want you to care about your grades. I don’t want you to tell me that you don’t care about school, that you will never need to use the things you are learning in real life. I don’t want you to struggle.

I want respect.

When I tell you to do something, I actually want you to do it. I don’t want you to tell me that you are going to do it later or say that you are not going to do it. I don’t want you to ask me why I am asking you to do something, I just want you to do it.

I want character.

I don’t want to hear you whine about how hard your life is because I asked you to do something that you don’t want to do. You father and I worked very hard to provide you with the ideal childhood, something neither one of us had. Your attitude towards us and our sacrifices for you is very hurtful. I don’t want to always feel angry with you.

I want responsibility. 

I don’t want to tell you repeatedly to wake up in the morning. I want you to get yourself up for school. It makes me feel stressed out when you almost miss the bus almost every morning. I don’t want to hear you complain about having a bedtime, especially since you can’t seem to get yourself out of bed.

I want faith.

I want you to grasp onto something bigger than yourself to help you through the hard times in your life. Your dad and I won’t always be here to protect you from the storms of life.

Maybe this gift will cost more than you can give me at this time. 

Some of you are further down the road than others at giving me this gift. 

Even though I really want the gift of knowing that someday you will be responsible well adjusted adults, this gift is not really for me. It’s for you.  

This roller coaster ride

Sometimes raising teenagers is like riding a roller coaster. There are a lot of low points followed by high points. Sometimes you are excited to be on the ride and at other times you feel like you are going to throw up. Just when you have had enough, the ride is over.

That is what life is like here every day. The last 24 hours has been one hell of a roller coaster ride. It started yesterday when Angel received a text from her ex. Or at least someone that she thought was her ex. Her ex saw her perform in the musical she was in over the weekend. He complimented her on her part, made small talk, and left. Then the next day she started getting texts. They were innocent at first with questions like where she was going to college. Then things got strange. He told her that he wanted her back. He wanted to meet for coffee. He still had feelings for her, etc… She didn’t recognize the phone number and his sister said it wasn’t his. She didn’t hear back after she told him to call her to make sure it was really him.

We started to worry that she was getting messages again from Jeremy, the guy that was previously stalking her. He would sometimes pose as a friend through text. He even hacked into her boyfriend’s Facebook account and broke up with her while pretending to be her bf. He is going to the same college as her bf which resulted in a fist fight. He threatened to rape her. At that point, Paul called him and told him never to contact Angel again. And Angel told this person where she was going to college. Uugghh!@$#

Yesterday evening she called her ex and he said that he hasn’t been texting her. He thought it may be a girl that liked him. Angel did ask in the text about the conversation that she had with her ex at the show. The person knew  about it, but it was a very general conversation. The girl went with her ex to the show. When her ex confronted this girl, she got really upset. Everyone is denying sending the texts. At this time we think it may have been someone else and not the guy we threatened to get a restraining order against. But we really don’t know. It could be anyone. 

I thought that would be it for the day until we got a knock on the door last night at 10:15 PM. Apparently, Alex’s ex-friend went for a walk last night and didn’t come home. This isn’t the same friend that ran away at the beginning of the school year. This is the long time friend that he is no longer allowed to see because his friend got expelled from school for drugs.

This morning my son got a text from the mother of his ex-friend saying that her son was still missing. She asked Alex if he knew where her son was. Alex replied that he didn’t have any contact with him for the last month since they were not allowed to talk anymore. At this point, she called my son a selfish piece of shit, etc…for no apparent reason.. She was angry and worried. Then Jake’s mom got involved. So this started a round of texting for hours while I was at work trying to actually work. Work was crazy busy. I was dealing with phone calls at work, on my cell, and texts at the same time. Eventually the boy returned home. I hope this is the last we hear from them, but I don’t think so. 

Then my son called me from school saying that he didn’t turn In an assignment. We have been monitoring his grades and missing assignments online. That is a real mess since he missed 3 days from being sick. We don’t know what has been turned in because they are still showing up as missing even if they were turned in. My son said that some were turned in but not graded yet. I love having the ability to see grades online, but it is enough to drive a parent crazy. Unupdated notifications about missing assignments and poor grades blow up our emails. Then the status is not updated for weeks sometimes. 

Then I received another call from the school today. Damn, I cringe when I see that number. Angel was calling for me to pick her up from school. She donated blood for the first time today. Afterwards she felt nauseous and dizzy. She almost passed out in class. This may have been caused by being at the bottom of the weight requirement. She didn’t feel well and couldn’t drive home. I had to pick her up from school. 

Then I heard from the school one more time. This time it was good news. Arabella was chosen to be a foreign exchange student for one week in Japan. It has been a dream of hers since I don’t know when. Last year we hosted a foreign exchange student from Japan for a week and loved it. 

That has been my 24 hour teenage roller coaster ride. I don’t particularly like roller coasters. I like to watch other people ride. 

Monday’s dirty laundry

I started the week off by having to buy a new washing machine. The last couple of weeks it sounded like a gun range in my house every time I threw in a load of laundry. Bang, bang, pop, pop, pop. Then this morning it almost started on fire. Good thing I didn’t throw in a load and leave for work. Stinky smoke billowed out of our utility room. I sure hope this is not an indicator of how the rest of the week will go. Lol. 

Yesterday my mom came over for supper. We spoke about my mother’s childhood years. She said that as the second oldest girl, without older brothers, it was her job to assist her dad in his work. His job was very labor intensive. She spent the summers picking cucumbers to sell to help support her family. She had to help her mother wash clothes, including cloth diapers every day, in a basin with bleach. They did not have a washer or dryer. It sure makes me appreciate my broken washer, or should I say being able to afford to buy a nice new front loader. 

I wish that my mom would write down her stories so I could understand her life more. Just like I hope someday my kids will read my writing and understand me more.
Then we talked about Matt and parenting an autistic child in the late 70’s. She said that she was thinking about writing down everything that happened to help herself heal. At times like this, I am so tempted to tell her about my blog but didn’t. She said that she is helping herself heal by helping others that are struggling. She has more compassion than anyone. She said that she wouldn’t have been able to make it through without her faith in God.

We spoke about the abuse that Matt suffered at the hands of the school. She said that she only saw Matt cry twice in his life. He cried when he spoke of what happened at school. It was absolutely barbaric. The teacher had him sit underneath her desk while she sat at her desk. If Matt touched her, she would kick him. One teacher held him face down on the floor while the other sat on his back. He couldn’t breathe. That is the story he cried about. There was a disabled child that died that year from a teacher that used the same discipline method.

We spoke about my mom’s church friends. I was not aware of this, she said one time when Matt swore in church her friend hit him. Another friend told my mom that they needed to beat it out of him. Oh, my dad did try to beat it out of him. It didn’t work. My mom spoke of when my dad kept hitting Matt over and over trying to beat it out of him. I told her that I remember that day clearly because it was my first childhood memory. I remember the screaming of my dad and Matt. I remember the plunking noise of Matt being knocked back and forth against the cupboards in the kitchen.

My mom said that Matt crawled around on the floor like an animal. He spent a lot of time screaming after he quit talking. 

Later on he became fixated on hurting little girls and I just happened to be the only little girl around. My mom said that she felt terrible that I had to suffer. She spoke of the birth of her first grandchild, my daughter Angel. She said that she was excited and filled with joy the day Angel was born. But her second feeling was horror because she knew what that might mean.

Matt did hurt Angel. What I didn’t tell you was that the two years leading up to the attack, Matt became obsessed with the thought of hurting Angel. He ruminated about it. He asked questions about what it would be like if he pulled her hair, twisted her arm, hit her, or held her head underwater when we were together. My mom and I were worried. I had to take a step back from Matt.

When Matt hurt Angel on her 4th birthday, my mom went in the other room and cried. She was so upset that she didn’t talk and was inconsolable. Luke took Matt home and the whole time it was like he was possessed. He laughed. The voices in his head were whispering over and over out loud. I almost forgot about his maniacal laughter after hurting someone. I could only describe it as evil or demonic.

My mom was at her breaking point. We had to part ways. She quit going to church for the next 3 years. She was angry at God for allowing this to happen. 

We have forgiven Matt for all of the things that happened. But it has been a long road and painful process.

Tomorrow I am going to start another autism series. I have a copy of Matt’s clinical diagnosis report from the early 80’s. I have been holding on to it for the last 20 years. I am going to share it with you along with my feelings about what was written.

The role of the dice

Tonight I will be out playing Bunco with the girls. It will be the first time that I went after my neighbor Sharon passed away. I will be playing with her friends. I really haven’t wanted to play the last several months without her, but haven’t been able to anyway.

If you are not familiar with Bunco, it is a dice game that is totally based on luck. The only challenging thing about it is keeping score after a drink or two. I was first invited to Bunco when Sharon was hosting it at her house and needed an extra player. That first night I won big time. Beginner’s luck they said. Month after month, Sharon called me to tell me that they needed a sub. Eventually, I was put on the permanent player list. Sharon always insisted on being the driver. She liked to smoke a cigarette on the way to calm her nerves. She rarely, if ever, had a drink. She liked to pick everyone else up. One time we ended up having more people than room in her car, but she squeezed everyone in.

I have finally reached the point of accepting that she is gone. I don’t think that she is going to drive by and wave. I don’t think she is going to come out of her house after a long winter and visit. I don’t think she is going to come over to borrow an egg and send back a batch of cookies. She is gone.

Sharon was an extreme extrovert. She loved people. She used to work at a local gas station and grew up in the area, so everyone knew her. After giving people directions to my house, several people asked me why I didn’t tell them that I lived next to Sharon. So I started telling people that I lived next to Sharon. She had 1,000 people come to her funeral. 

Sharon loved to entertain people by telling stories. My favorite story was about a bear that visited her up north. Sharon and her family owned a lot up north that they put a couple of campers on. She told me that one day a bear visited them while they were cooking out. Later that night, Sharon was having an intimate evening with her husband. The next morning her little boy asked her if the bear came back. He said that he heard her screaming like she was scared and the camper was rocking like the bear was trying to get in. I never laughed so hard.

Sharon had the world’s biggest heart. Her husband had children from a previous marriage. Although she treated his children as if they were her own, she was never able to have children. They decided to provide foster care with the intentions of adopting. Their first two foster children were abused by their previous adoptive foster parents. They were in the process of adopting these children, but it fell through and they were returned back to their previous adoptive parents. Sharon was absolutely heartbroken. 

A couple of years later, Sharon became the foster parent of a baby that she later adopted. She eventually adopted his younger sister when she was 2. The second child was more of a challenge because she was in foster care for the first two years of her life. She decided to make it an open adoption. The birth mother was on drugs and had all of her children taken away right after birth. She just wasn’t mother material. But Sharon kept her land line so the birth mother could call her anytime day or night. She was very loving and not at all judgmental. She even loved my children like they were her own. 

Sharon always called me at work if a strange vehicle was in my yard. She was always keeping an eye on the neighborhood.

The last couple of times that I saw Sharon, she was in bad health. She had a couple of very serious health conditions. Her husband quit his job to become self-employed and they didn’t have health insurance. Previously, her husband was on the road a lot. Sharon was afraid to be home alone without her husband. At night, she slept with every light on in the house. Once in the middle of the night, there was a motorist that broke down near us. She went to Sharon’s house for help because all of the lights were on. Sharon was terrified when her doorbell rang in the middle of the night. So her husband decided to start his own business to be home more.

The last couple of months, Sharon complained about not feeling well. She said that after the kids left for school, she would go back to bed until the afternoon. She couldn’t afford to get the treatment she needed but always told me that she would go to the doctor soon. Then she came down with a simple case of pneumonia. She very unexpectedly died at the age of 45 leaving behind two grade school aged children.

So tonight I will be hanging out with her friends. I wish I didn’t have to go without her.

Life timesĀ 

I had every intention of writing yesterday, but things don’t always go as planned. After today, I am done with my spring cleaning. Now we are just waiting for spring. Usually in the middle of April, spring turns on like a light switch. I plan ahead to have my spring cleaning over and done with before it is nice out. 

It has been cold this past week with more days of snow than without. Some patchy snow remains on the ground with another inch of snow and sleet expected this afternoon. Friday afternoon thick snow flakes fell to the ground. Please don’t tell anyone else in WI that I am saying this, but it was very beautiful. Saturday morning the sun glistened making the snow sparkle like diamonds. But now it is bleak and cloudy. All of the babies cried in church. They seemed to take all of our repressed feelings towards winter and let them spring forth like the wailing of the wind that cries out to us today.

Yesterday, I went to the bowels of Hades into our little crawl space to peer into all of the bins and boxes. I was hoping to find the letters my mom wrote to me the summer that she spent out of state in the hospital with Matt. I haven’t been able to find them anywhere. I’m afraid that I may have accidently thrown them out with all of the high school notes that I found. My old school texting! LOL. You know, the notes that I didn’t want my parents to find and now I wouldn’t want my kids to find. LOL. It makes me sad, but maybe they will turn up somewhere yet.  

Also, I was looking for pictures to display for my daughter’s high school graduation next month. Since more than half of my childrens childhood was before the digital camera era, I have 4 big bins and multiple boxes of unorganized pictures and memorabilia. I started to feel stressed that my display of her life would suck. I hate to be unorganized with this since organization is a strength of mine. So I decided to make a display of pictures from all of the shows my daughter performed in along with a couple baby pictures. Then next winter, instead of working puzzles, I am planning on going through all of the pictures. I am going to work with my mom to take all of the old family pictures and back them up online. After my kids are settled as adults, I am going to gift them with a bin of their most precious childhood moments. 

Yesterday we had my parents and Matt over for supper last minute. We spent several hours watching the old family videos that we had uploaded to a hard drive. It was so strange seeing my brothers, cousins, and myself as young children. Then we watched my kids as young children. It was so strange seeing the progression of time all in one day. Time sure flies. Enjoy every moment while you can.