I had the disconcerting experience last night of going to watch a dance recital and seeing a boy that M. used to play with (like play as in build sandcastles and vroom trucks and all that kind of boy play) up on stage dancing Salsa with a girl and flinging her over his knee in a sultry kind of way. This kid is now somewhere over six feet tall, a smooth dancer and can hardly be referred to as a boy anymore. Yet he's only 3.5 years older than M.! At going-on-11, M.has morphed into a fast-growing weed with a ever-huskier voice that seems to mostly say variations on "I'm hungry, mom". He grew an inch in the last six weeks. Could it be so very far away that he too will be six feet tall and twirling teenage girls in red dresses? It seems impossible, yet when I watched his former playmate on stage, it just seemed like a blink of an eye ago that they had Hot Wheels cars and Bionicles all over the driveway. Some days it still seems like I have a young boy, zooming spaceships or excitedly telling me about his Pokemon cards. On another day, he's far too cool to drink from my pink water bottle ("humiliating" is the latest descriptive word for such actions).
Couple all of this with watching Miss Diva onstage in her snazzy jazzy dance costume doing her routine and looking just way too grown up (yet flashing me her jack-o-lantern missing-toothed smile afterwards) and you've got a season of awe-inspiring growth going on. Just about every day I am shocked by something one or both of them does that just seems so much older than the day before. Might be the way they answer the phone, the way they hang out together on the couch and chat or read books next to each other, the phrases they use that are less childlike than what they might've said a day, a week, or a month ago. It's both beautiful and utterly frightening to see them changing so quickly before my eyes. I guess I was prepared for this in the early years when milestones come fast and furious. But sometime in the last few years I got lulled by the fact that they seemed reasonably the same from one day to the next. I think though that we've hit another one of those times when growth and change comes quickly and catches me off-guard.
At least the lazy summer days are finally upon us, we can spend plenty of time just relaxing and enjoying each others' company. We finally got a digital video camera, so at least I can capture some of what they are like in this moment on film (when I can wrestle the camera away from M., who seems to delight in making "Garden Roller Coaster" movies, where the camera zooms sickeningly around the yard, or movies in which his little sister is some kind of roaring monster).