My sons just turned 8 and 9 years old, and I feel as though I was changing their diapers a few months ago. I marvel that I am raising two boys with their own personalities, whims, desires, and needs. I feel inadequate to the task and self-centered at times. I have been taking them out more often to birthday parties and family functions so they can socialize more outside of school.
At the same time, I have been spoiling them and buying them things I never had. They both have hand-held game systems, with more than one game. I take them out to eat far more than I ever did as a child. It is no longer a special occasion to them, so I feel I robbed them the feeling of surprise and joy it used to give me as a child. I tell them that they do not realize how lucky they are, but it is solely my fault that they view their possessions as commonplace. I have decided to start taking away their treasured toys for a week every month just so that they can appreciate them more.
They impress me every day with their ideas and they sheer joy in life. I watch their faces as they tell me of their day. One part of me responding with required oohs and awws of conversation, the other cataloging the tones in their skin, a leftover milk mustache from their noon-day meals, and perhaps a new grass stain on their pants. I wish I knew those little stories, but I never will. It is the way of life, just as my mother does not know even 5% of what I do with my days.