Last week, I wrote a post about being sad that my girls are growing up and then, this past weekend, I learned that big kids aren’t so scary. They are actually pretty wonderful. At least the ones we had the pleasure of hanging out with.
Friday night, we drove upstate to spend the weekend at my friend Daniela and Guy’s house. Her boys, Ethan and Noah are in 6th and 7th grade. That’s an age that doesn’t seem that far away when you say it out loud, but when you see what 6th and 7th graders look like— it feels like a lifetime. They look like little adults!
Little adults who might say they are over Minecraft, but who still like watching it over Mazzy’s shoulder while she plays.
It was actually kind of crazy walking around Daniela’s house and seeing all the pictures of the boys when they were babies and toddlers. I didn’t know them then. I became friends with Daniela when Mazzy was in kindergarten because Noah was assigned as Mazzy’s 4th grade book buddy. They actually introduced us at a school event.
Back then, Noah seemed so old to me and now Mazzy is just a year away. She’ll be someone’s 4th grade book buddy and be the big kid at school next year.
I want to write another post about everything we did over the weekend (there are so many fun spots in Rhinebeck, New York!) but for now, I just want to talk about how welcoming and thoughtful and patient Noah and Ethan were with my girls, while we were at their house. It really blew me away.
First of all, they were genuinely good hosts (they learned from their parents, I am sure) who seemed to put Mazzy and Harlow’s preferences over their own. They gave them tours of the house, let them choose where to sleep, helped find them snacks and let them pick the movie on Saturday night. Mazzy and Harlow chose Captain Underpants, which I’m sure was on the young side for them, but they didn’t complain.
The girls slept upstairs while Mike and I slept downstairs in the basement, so when Harlow woke up first and saw Ethan in the hallway, he took her downstairs to the kitchen and made her a waffle. The fact that Harlow didn’t feel the need to wake me up to help says so much about her comfort level with Ethan. Harlow is not that easy of a kid to win over but I find this means she is also a pretty good judge of character.
We went skiing together on Saturday and whether this was true or they were hanging back on purpose, Ethan and Noah repeatedly told Mazzy that she was the fastest and best skier among us. They called her “Speed Demon” and said she was fearless.
At dinner, Ethan took Harlow to watch the pizza being made in the oven so that she wouldn’t get impatient waiting for her food. When Noah and Ethan took a detour to the candy shop in town, they came back with chocolates for the girls.
While walking in town, Noah held Harlow’s hand. I’m not sure if it was at her request or his.
It rained on Sunday morning, which made Mazzy upset because she wanted very badly to try out their trampoline. My girls are city kids, so they’ve only seen those round trampolines that people have in their yard on YouTube. They’d been looking forward to going on it all weekend. So, in the afternoon, after the weather cleared up, Noah went outside and cleaned the trampoline off, removing all the sticks so that Mazzy and Harlow could jump on it before we left. Noah jumped with them the whole time, which helped them jump even higher than if they were on their own, but also to make sure they were safe and didn’t do anything dangerous.
He introduced them to a game called “Popcorn” in which one person sits in the middle with their arms around folded knees and the others jump to make the “popcorn” toss around. I haven’t seen Mazzy smile that big in awhile. She looked like my little kid again, laughing and jumping with such sheer joy on her face.
Then Daniela called me over to look through a box of old photos— wedding pics I hadn’t seen and tons of baby pics of the boys.
“Wow. I don’t even have a box of old photos of Mazzy and Harlow as babies,” I told her. “Everything is on my computer.”
“Yeah. I had my kids pre-Instagram.” Imagine that.
Daniela wanted help picking out montage-worthy pics for Noah’s Bar Mitzvah which is already coming up this March. Honestly, I can’t even wrap my head around it. My own Bat Mitzvah was such a huge turning point in my adolescence. Could it come that quickly?
But I look at Noah and Ethan and they seem a world away from Mazzy and Harlow. Mature and independent and self-assured and talkative with so many stories to share of their own. My girls still have so much growing up to do. Those years will feel like an eternity to them, even if they pass quickly to me.
Man, time is a wild ride.
But there is one moment that I am really left with after this weekend. On Saturday night, it was my plan to lay down with the girls for a bit at their bedtime and then come down to drink wine and talk with the adults until the wee hours of the night. But then, I ended up falling asleep in Mazzy’s bed and the next thing I knew it was 3am. The whole house was fast asleep. I thought I had missed out on whatever grown-up party had happened.
The next morning, when I saw Daniela in the kitchen, I apologized for falling asleep in Mazzy’s bed and cutting the night short.
“Hon,” she said with a sly little smile, as if she had a world of knowledge that I had yet to learn. “I fell asleep in Noah’s bed too.”