Ah, spring. Everything seems to be sprouting up and turning green. I've mowed my yard twice already. The flowers are blooming and the porch furniture is back out to enjoy. It happens every year, but every year it still is enjoyable. But something else is growing up right in front of Holly and I and sometimes we forget it's happening. The kids. Watching them all run around the backyard this past weekend was a stark reminder that days like that are numbered.

Chase will be 13 this fall. A teenager. He's asking questions about driving and what kind of car he'll have. He's at this innocent stage right now where he has most of the knowledge of a teen, but he doesn't yet hate his parents. He still wants to hang out with his old man. I know that will change in the coming years so I'm hanging on to it with all I have. He's growing taller and lankier and is eating more and more every day. He's turning into a teenage 'me'. I'm happy and scared all at the same time.

The girls are also sprouting up. Carly will be 9 this fall going on 16. It won't be long and she'll be as tall as her mom! I often give Chase a hard time saying that he better keep eating his vitamins or his younger sister is going to catch up to him. Carly has already started to show signs of the vulnerability that kids can have with their bodies. She will ask us if she is too heavy, and our answer is an obvious 'no'. She is big for her age but she is healthy and that's all that matters. Carly has always worn her heart on her sleeve. As she gets closer to being a teenager, I know that sleeve is about to get trampled on.

Holly Brainard
Holly Brainard

And then there is Cayleigh. The baby who isn't a baby anymore. She just turned 7 and is playing spring soccer. She loves to run and play outside. She is still small when compared to her siblings, but then I see her with her teammates and I think, is that my baby out there? All the kids are doing well in school, but Cayleigh has blossomed this year. Her reading skills have soared along with her confidence. When she isn't out running, she has a book in her hand. It's awesome to see.

On a warm spring afternoon, all three of my kids are playing together and getting along in our backyard. I've made a mental note. A special memory if you will. Because I know days like these are fleeting. Soon, friends and cars and phones and boys will be more important. But not yet. Not this spring.

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