My husband Greg and I thoroughly enjoyed having young children. Things were hectic — toys and books scattered everywhere. Food spilling on the floor. Fussing about being strapped into car seats. Wet beds. Skinned knees. And, tracking mud on the carpet when they came through the front door.
But they were also some of the best years of our lives.
Today our ‘children’ are 21 and 24. And while we miss the joys of kids in the house, we are fortunate to have two ‘adopted’ girls living next door.
Just the other day, I was sitting on the porch when I heard the sing-song-sounds of “Mother-May-I.” Hannah and Haley have a swing set and a basketball goal in the backyard. And they’re sure to get wonderful presents this holiday season – and hopefully a bit of snow.
We have the kind of relationship with our neighbors that allows us to run over to borrow some basil (or, more likely, a bottle of wine.) They take care of our mail and papers when we’re out of town, and we have keys to each others’ homes.
When we moved to our current house, our son and daughter were two and five. One of my favorite memories was when it snowed one day, and Cortland and his friends threw snow balls off the back deck.
Overall, our neighborhood is growing older, but we are beginning to see more young couples moving in, several with children.
We are fortunate to have Hannah and Haley as neighbors – although it is astonishing to see how they are growing up before our eyes. Hannah is 13 and in middle school; Haley is 10 and in elementary school. As I write this sentence, I can’t help but remember back to a neighborhood Christmas party when Hannah was three and Haley a newborn, rocking back and forth in her mother’s arms.
Of course it is God’s plan that children grow up and eventually leave home. Ours have grown into responsible, loving and supportive young adults and we’re very proud of each of them. (My mother-in-law once told me, however, that no matter how old your children are, parents worry about their children their whole life long.)
Children are special – and what better time of year to celebrate youth knowing that Santa Clause is coming to town. So whether you’re young or young at heart, I hope you all have a have a VERY, MERRY HOLIDAY SEASON and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!