I’m late in remarking on this… the first phase of “life with kids” ended and a new one has begun. If I had to pinpoint the exact moment Life With Kids Version 2.0 started, it was this:
June 14, 2013: The day Patrick graduated from Pre-Kindergarten.
In our past life, we had to go to University Village almost every. single. day. Now our visits are rare and dreaded. (Parking’s awful, and without Barnes and Noble, there are few stores I want to walk in to.) The daily rhythm of our past life revolved around two drop-offs and two pick-ups. Now, and until / unless our kids get involved in crazy extracurricular activities, our daily transportation routine will be much simpler.
Traveling with the kids is much easier. The day after I took the picture above, all of us boys hopped on a plan for a trip to Virginia. Alex and Patrick carried their own backpacks and booster seats through the airport, and were excellent travel companions overall.
We can include the kids on more of our activities. Ride bikes? Sure thing! Both kids can easily handle a couple of miles on the trail… Alex riding by himself, and Patrick in the tagalong. It’s the best way to get to Matthews Beach from our house. Molly wants to do a triathlon? No problem! We can sign up Alex, too!
I’ll be honest — I like the new version of parenting much better than the old version. And I also disagree with anyone who says, “They grow up so fast!” Bullshit! The past seven years of parenthood seem, well, seven years long. That’s probably 7-10% of my eventual lifespan. Instead I believe in that ancient proverb, “This too shall pass.” Whatever phase of life, or fatherhood, or whatnot I am in, it eventually ends.
The era of toddlers in our house is over. The elementary school age is here, and it looks delightful. And seven years from now, we’ll be staring at high school, and Parenting Version 3.0, and all of the new challenges that will bring. This too shall pass.