It happens before you notice it.
The youngest child really does get to do more, much sooner than the oldest one did. The oldest child grumbles because she remembers that there was no way she was going to ride her bike to the corner market at the age of 14, much less 10. She practically had her drivers permit before she could ride her bike alone across the neighborhood to her friends house, and now Zac at age 11, is riding with his 14 year old brother to the market...and he is riding the bus home from school. Gasp!
Now...before you fall out...the school bus is not bad. It is just a really grown up kind of thing in our family. We have always had our kids in car pool all the way through elementary school. Mostly because the buses take a long time to get home, and truth be known...I have horrid memories of riding the school bus in elementary school.
On Monday, I watched from around the corner (since I was strongly encouraged not to be waiting at the bus stop) until Zac got off the bus. He saw me. We didn't talk about it.
Zac was excited, sort of. He and his buddy, Max are riding together and Max is coming to our house until his mom gets home from work. It is a win - win situation. I will save a little on gasoline and my squeaky brakes should be able to squeak along a few more months before needing to be replaced. And Max doesn't have to go to after school care, Zac doesn't have to ride the bus alone, and doing homework with a friend makes it less like work and more like....if we hurry up and get this done, we can play together. Not to mention that since Max' s mom and dad are saving money by not putting Max in after school care, and because Max's mom is truly one of the sweetest people I know, they are sharing some of their savings with me. We are calling it the "after-school snack money fund". So far the boys have requested turkey sandwiches and Ramon noodles. Sounds perfectly delicious, right?
So, now that I've given in to the corner market bike rides and the after school bus rides, I'm sure my oldest thinks I may be ready to pack Zac's bags (or Jonathan's for that matter) and send him off to camp in the wilderness or at least drop him off with his friends at the movie theater. Not so fast. I can't say it won't happen sooner than it did for Emily, but it will not happen yet.
Watching your children grow up is just like everything else. The more you do it, the more comfortable you become. The scary things seem less scary...and you realize that the God who gave them to you really does have them for the long haul.
Plus, I know that my oldest will do the exact same thing when she has some littles of her own and we will talk reasonably about it then.
Learning as I go,
Linking up here with Jenny Matlock for alphabe-Thursday! Come on over to join the fun!