As the sun set on a glorious weekend, it dawned on me that it wasn’t only their shadows growing and lengthening as the sun got low on the horizon. These babes of mine are babies no more and its bitter and sweet all at the same time! Ive been coming back to this photograph all week, somewhat shell-shocked when I looked and realized we have more big kids then little……and I had to go dig up the old one. When did that happen?
A brief five years have passed since our last “annual” apple-day and somewhere in that time, they all just, sorta, grew! Gone are the days of all the girls in matching apple-attire. Littles who used to have to be carried, now are carrying the bushels of apples themselves and dragging the wagon through the orchard and hoisting baby brother onto broadening shoulders. And our “little” family (that I if I could, I would keep “little” forever,) is in a new beautiful chapter of young-adult children, toddlers and teens, and it is just as sweet. A new season I am loving! But, Im keenly aware that there won’t be too many years left that we’ll be able to coax our teens to spend a whole Sunday driving (crammed in a car double-buckling). Someday soon, someone will have a job and shifts that aren’t conducive to Sunday drives up the mountains, and school studies will elbow out free time and social calendars all be full for our teens. But this, another golden day in my treasure trove of memories, is one for he books. The little snapshots form a collage of memories Im tucking away…..
Beautiful, blessed autumn afternoon…..Tristan and C pelting each other with McIntosh missiles and the playful banter of father-and-son…..Kids darting and ducking between low-hanging branches and weaving down the rows calling to each other to see who can reach that perfect cluster of Cortlands…The squeals of the six-year-old when she steps in squishy rotten apples with her prized new boots…..Granny (to the) Smith’s, hand-in-hand with Izzy, patiently waiting out the endless line to get her grands the coveted “fresh, hot apple donuts”…..my daddy, (always larger than life,) with his stick, reaching the apples that no one else can (oh, how we’ve missed grandparents!!)….the big girls taking the little girls to the port-a-pottys (so I don’t have to!)….someone has my diaper bag…..someone has my baby……….wait!
When did all these littles tugging at the hem of my shirt turn into helpful hands, bearing the load?
How I love this little tribe of mine…..
We drove home at dusk with the golden glow of the sun setting in our rearview mirror and music blasting on the radio and Eden dancing along from his car seat. I looked back at our kids genuinely enjoying eachother and was overwhelmed with gratitude that through all our moves and changes and transitions and uprooting, that they’ve had eachother. Theirs is a unique sibling bond. And much to my surprise, teens are more delightful than I could have imagined. This is a sweet new season!
And…I no longer have to carry a camera, because my Abi documents everything on hers and I actually get to be in some of the photos now.