My kids were without me for the weekend because I went with a group of 8th graders from our church on their Confirmation Retreat. I have to tell you - I was not looking forward to this little trip. A little background: due to the fact that I have a hard time saying no, I have been on our church's confirmation committe for the last year and a half. That just means that I kind of act as an adviser to a group of confirmands.. They start the process in the beginning of 7th grade, and are confirmed in January of their 8th grade year. That's a long time. And it's intense. They learn a lot. In fact, I would say that most of them probably know more about the bible, our church, etc. than I do.
So that brings us to this past weekend. I didn't have to go on the retreat. But there is a small part of me that is responsible, and I just felt like since this was the end of their journey, I really needed to be there.
As it turns out, and despite having a nasty cold, I had a really good time. Eighth graders are really pretty cool. Maybe not all the time, but mostly. And, frankly, the girls are cooler than the boys. But then again, who is really surprised by that?
What's crazy to me is that in the blink of an eye, Ava will be one of those kids. I kept looking at those 8th graders and trying to imagine them as kindergartners. It wasn't that long ago for them. In fact, they can remember being in kindergarten, and a lot of them went to Ava's school. Some of them even had her teacher. The leap from age 6 to age 13 is small in years, but huge in change. When does it happen? When do they go from kids to being young adults? The way the carry themselves, interact with each other.....it's so far from where my kids are right now. But what was cool was how much I enjoyed some of these kids, and how much it makes me look forward to those years with my own.
You know what else it made me do? It made me need to give my kids a huge snuggle when I got home. I had a glimpse of how fast time is flying, and I had one of those moments where I needed it to stand still.
Not to worry, though. This morning we were back to normal life, with me wondering why there are so many school holidays in January.