In Fall 2000, when we found out Kristen was pregnant with Megan, we both kind of rolled our eyes when people would say “Enjoy it, it goes by too fast.”
How right they were. Our kids are in a fun stage of growing up… but life moves so fast that we don’t pause enough to truly enjoy it.
Megan is almost 9 year old. N-I-N-E! She is our sweetheart. Megan has a deep love for reading, animals, and origami. She never ceases to amaze me with the stories she weaves together or how perceptive she is. She is so quiet that you can sometimes forget that she is capable of outbursts of wild running around. She is in that stage where she plays hard and intense.
She also has an imagination that lives halfway between fiction and reality. She loves pretending to be a cat. She will crawl around her bedroom for hours, she’ll meow at you, and when she gets annoyed she’ll even hiss. (We have a no hissing rule in the house, that’s how common it is!)
Megan got a camera for Christmas and puts it to good use. Check out her photo blog, MeganMcLane.com. When she opened this present she carefully examined it. When she saw that it wasn’t a kid camera– it was a really nice adult camera– her face lit up and she instantly started making plans.
One of the highlights of my day is hearing Megan’s laugh. She has a normal giggle. But when she is really pleased she lets out this high pitched squeal that lights up the room.
Megan and I connect through exploration. She loves adventure and I love going on adventures with her. Whether its looking for shells at the beach or looking for the perfect toy at Target– we bound when we’re just checking things out and being quiet.
At school, Megan takes after her mom. She is a quiet achiever. She’s that student in class who doesn’t say much, takes the teacher literally, and is so competitive she has to be the best at everything or she won’t sleep at night.
Paul is six. He is our complicated boy. We probably spend 25% of every day trying to figure him out. And he wouldn’t have it any other way. He is full of dichotomy. He loves to cuddle and be quiet. But he’s always ready to wrestle and try to kick some butt. He is fully engrossed in everything he does. But he is always listening to every noise in the house to see if there is something he can jump in on. Developmentally, his life is all about fairness. As soon as he perceives the slightest slight he pouts, “That’s not fair!”
Paul has a deep hunger. Since the day he was born he has been hungry. And for as long as I can remember his first words every day are either “What can I eat?” or “What can I do?” Unlike his sister he likes all things spicy.
Paul has fully embraced life in his school. I’m pretty sure he likes spicy things because his latino classmates love spicy things too. “Can I get hot cheetos?” “Can we go to Mexico this weekend?” The kids school is representative of the diverse community we live in. And Paul seems to really enjoy that most of his classmates speak Spanish, Swahili, Vietnamese, or one of the multitude of other languages spoken by students at Darnall.
Like his sister, Paul stands out academically. But he’s also a lot like me in struggling to know how to ask to be challenged. He’d rather get his work done early and mess around than ask his teacher for the next challenge.
Paul’s life is dominated by his loves. He loves his Nintento DS. (It’s the first sound we hear nearly every day in our house. He wakes up about 5 to start playing.) He loves playing hard with dad. (Wrestling, boxing, etc) He loves playing games on the computer and watching Cartoon Network.
Paul and I connect best through quality time. Whether its going to Home Depot or playing a video game or planting tomatoes in the garden– Paul loves 1-1 time with dad and I love 1-1 time with Paul.
Paul is also our family elephant. He never forgets a detail. “Daddy, you promised two days ago to give us our allowance if we cleaned our rooms, we cleaned our rooms and you haven’t given us our allowance yet.” Or “Remember when you said we could go back to Legoland sometime? When? What day?”
Our kids fascinate us. They challenge us. They force us to grow. They are the best accountability partners, ever. They are not our gods but we are thankful to God that we get to enjoy them and pour our hearts into them.
And as I look at them I’m left– over and over again– speechless.