Saturday, August 01, 2009

The End Of The Innocence

I posted that to Twitter in the middle of a playdate-palooza this afternoon. Liam's buddy Kai, was over at our house. Both are founding members of the NOCCS Star Wars club. This was the first chance Liam had to display the lightsaber that the Tooth Fairy had left for him.

Kai, 6, wandered into the kitchen, looking a bit baffled. He looked at me and said, "Liam said the Tooth Fairy gave him that lightsaber."

Since he looked confused, I explained, "Well, some people believe the Tooth Fairy leaves you money or presents under your pillow after you lose a tooth. Have you heard of the Tooth Fairy?"

Kai: "I think that things like the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus are just made up to hide that it's really your parents leaving you presents."

Gulp. Liam didn't hear. But he will, soon enough. There will be tears. And that will also mean Kalian will learn soon after, getting a couple years less to enjoy the fantasy.

It just hit me that a special part of childhood is ending, or about to. And I worry that I'm not doing enough to savor it.

This past week was particularly hectic. Jen is crunching to finish a presentation and paper for a conference next week. I had an unexpected project fall into my lap, which had me staying up until 2 a.m. every night for a week (and I'm still not done). That meant that in the morning, I was tired and bitchy, and in the evening, mostly focused on steering them to bed.

Today I forced myself to slowdown. I wrangled a total of five friends to come over at the last minute. Given my tendency to procrastinate, I'm usually running through a phone list of friends on a Saturday morning as both kids are begging for playdates. Jen, on the other hand, organizes these weeks in advance. Last weekend, my last-minutetendencies meant zero playdates. This weekend, a full slate. So, I'm a hero. For now.

But such victories are, of course, short-lived in the eyes of my "what have done for me lately" children. Tomorrow, the battle begins anew.