We're just starting our birthday season - 4/6 of us have birthdays between May and July, leaving Spouse and no 4 alone a week apart in February.
The festivities have already kicked off as no 1 had her 13th birthday party on Saturday, although the big day itself is Friday.
13. I cannot believe I have a child who is going to be 13. It feels like I've blinked and she's gone all grown up on me. It hasn't helped that recently we found a whole bunch of videos we took when she was tiny - I don't feel I've changed a lot in the last decade (well ok, I have aged ten years, sigh), but my little toddler is now unrecognisable, and what's more her younger sisters who all seemed so tiny, only, what? minutes ago, are fast catching up.
Having moaned incessantly about the hardship of coping with babies and toddlers when they were small,, I now find myself in the inconsistently hypocritcal position of mourning the lack of littlies in the house. Come September I won't even have a child in the infants any more. How did that happen? And I can remember soooo clearly saying to one of my sisters when no 1 started school that I had nine years to look forward to of this, and now, poof! they've vanished. Mind you with the vanishing years has gone any impetus/enthusiasm I once had for helping out at Christmas fairs and the like, so it probably is Time To Move On.
Come September, no 2 will also be off to secondary school to join her sister (I am hoping with somewhat less trauma then no 1 had, at least no 2 knows what's coming), so for the first time ever I will only have two children on the school run (which of course, had I been sensible like normal people is what I'd have had all along). It feels like a massive change. And I'm not sure I'm ready for it.
Apart from anything else I keep having conversations with parents of teens which fill me with horror. Not only do I have my current maternal angsts of worrying about them being out and about on their own or getting run over because they think they are too grown up now to look both ways when they cross the road, to contend with, I apparently also have to look forward to them: drinking at a far earlier age then I did, having sex at a far earlier age then I did, and probably throwing a few druggie experiments in too boot. I have a feeling the only way to stay sane through all of this is to shut my eyes, hold my breath, cross my fingers and wait for them all to grow up. Maybe they will be like Zagazoo, Quentin Blake's hilarious take on parenthood, where a couple get a baby called Zagazoo, who as a small child is sometimes an elephant, or a dragon or a monkey, but when he turns into a teenager is more of a monosyllabic Yeti. Then one day they wake up and he is a polite young man offering them cups of tea. Yup. I think I could settle for that...
In the meantime I think I'll lie down in a darkened room waving a fan over my head, and praying that somehow they'll grow up all right, without me getting a day older...