My Not-So-Little Boys

Waiting in Line
Originally uploaded by Krheiser

I've been thinking a lot lately about how fast these two little boys are growing up. It's not just the fact that the oldest will be driving in less than six years (really?!?!). It's not necessarily the idea that we're only going to have to pay for daycare for a couple more years, either. Its both of those milestones and so much more.

There are so many things that have disappeared from our lives. Some of which I've been very happy to see go, like diapers and bottles. Still, there are so many other things I thought would be around forever. Monster trucks. Matchbox cars. Stuffed animals they couldn't sleep without. Tricycles and training wheels. All things of the past now.

Toddler toys have been replaced by the necessities of early adolecense. Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon cards litter my house and end up in the laundry. Gameboy consoles and mindlessly dropped game cartridges can be found in almost every room. MP3 players have replaced portable CD players. Cartoons, while still part of their lives, have been overtaken by shows like iCarly and The Suite Life of Zach and Cody. Just a few weeks ago we bought them new bikes because their knees were beginning to jut out abnormally to the side, a sure sign of a long-overlooked growth spurt.

They're not just outgrowing their toys, either. Oh, no. They both need new pants for the upcoming school year, and not just because most of the old ones have holes in the knees. The oldest is already up to my nose!

I think the most striking trait, though, isn't their chosen forms of entertainment or their too-short pants. The most shocking change is in their personalities. My oldest is maturing. It's a gradual process, to be sure, but it's also a noticeable one. He's kind and gentle and thoughtful. Not that his brother doesn't push his buttons on a regular basis - of course the little rascal does.

Speaking of the little guy, he's changing, too. The quick-tembered hothead is still there, but I've also noticed how easily his feelings are hurt and how tears are just as likely as fists. Then there's the tenderhearted lover of all things small and furry (maybe he'll want to be a vet someday...)

I try to imagine how they're going to continue to grow and evolve. I try and I fail. They're already so much more than I ever could have hoped for. We are so very lucky.