My grandson begins a totally new phase of life today- middle school. When I last saw him he was a child. By the time I see him again he will be a teenager. As a long distance grandmother I don't get the gradual transitions of growth and change. Instead I get the "who are you?" shock of seeing a different person each time we meet. But that's okay. Sometimes even living with a child doesn't prepare you for the changes that take place from 10 to 18. Children can surprise you in a hundred ways- good and bad. My own children were strangers to me for years. They did and said things that made me ask "who are you and what have you done with my child?". LOL Sometimes they still do! It's all part of becoming your own person.
I feel sorry for my daughters as they struggle through these next few years. Both will be living with tweens and teens. These years are like a roller coaster. Lots of hormones and drama. Lots of tears and anxiety. I expect to get some late-night phone calls. But there will be laughter and pride and accomplishment too. I hope they can hang on to those bright moments to carry them through the dark times. I know that eventually they will be rewarded with wonderful adult children, just as I was. Gran always said "You pay for your raising!" And she sometimes told me I deserved twins- whatever that was supposed to mean.
We are going through our own stage here on the hill. My husband will turn 65 in a few weeks. He has already done his paperwork for Medicare and for early retirement. He will, of course, continue to work for as long as he can, but this birthday is certainly a milestone. We talk a lot about health and "quality of life" and things we want to do in the next thirty years. They will go by quickly and I think as you live longer into the second half of life you really want your time to matter. And you want to relax a bit, have a little fun. I remember meeting Gary's aunt when she was 101. The first thing she did was tell me a joke- a good one. She said it was important to enjoy life. I think we ought to listen to anyone who has made it past 100!
One other person in our family is going to make it to an important stage of life this year. Someone will turn 40 in December. I know she's so excited about it. :)