I was driving down the road on Friday when Kelsey called me with the news. Our next child – due in July – is a girl. I was more than a little surprised. For some reason, I expected a boy. After all, that’s our track record. We have boys; we adopt girls. Mark that pattern as unfollowed.
I laughed as I drove. I laughed for 20 miles as I drove through Los Angeles. Every time I thought “four girls” I would just start laughing out loud. Things change quickly. Two years ago, our home was a bastion of testosterone. Those days aren’t over, but they’re obviously numbered.
‘Tis a strange thing to think of the effect of time on a large family’s demographics.
Late yesterday afternoon, back in Kansas City, I started thinking about the allocation of rooms in The Compound. We have four bedrooms upstairs; 1 smallish, two large and one gargantuan. Plan A had Jackson enjoying rooming alone in the small room. It’s a great room, really – six windows on three sides overlooking the side yard.
My mind started to wander into ForwardTime.
I saw Jackson grow up and move out…
Grayson took his place in the coveted solo suite. It was the domain of the oldest child in the house…and then he was gone.
With Zion moved in, the decor changed to all-things-guitar and the mood of the house shifted too.
With Zion in the small room, the four girls were able to spread out between the two larger bedrooms at the other end of the house with the Jack-and-Jill bathroom. Four girls sharing one bathroom with a skinny 1930’s style pedestal sink.
Then, as the sun set in RealTime, back in my imagination, Zion was off to make a life for himself and our house was full of only the four youngest. They were all teenagers all pigments and all sisters.
My lifesong as a parent, having started with the first verse about boys, will reprise itself on on a verse about teenage girls.
I remember associating the setting sun with life at that point. For a moment, I wanted to freeze them all at the age they are, as they are, how they are…but I can’t. And if I could, it wouldn’t be best. Still….
How great must life be that the best thing you can imagine is to stay forever in the present.
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