Wow it's a busy weekend. Grocery shopping, pool-safety shopping and flower shopping. I've been putting the finishing touches on the pool, which means I finally had to take on the uncomfortable, confusing, and not entirely un-dangerous job of relighting the pool heater. The water has been hovering in the 70s which is warm enough for the kids but not for us. It has to be at least in the low 80s before Sarah will even dip her . . .
Oh, wait . . . Sarah. Did you know Sarah just turned 40? Yes, I was there when it happened. We watched the clock turn over to midnight and I sang (softly - kids were sleeping) Happy Birthday. She did fine and I'm happy to have her in my age bracket. Then I kissed her goodnight and went back downstairs to feed the cats.
It turns out that having four kids really is keeping us young. Just not for the reasons anybody thinks.
Many people suggest that following the kids all over the place (and carrying two of them all over the place) must provide enough exercise to keep us in shape. But it doesn't. Sure, I get my heart rate up when I drop Grace off and pick her up at preschool. Carrying the twinlets (one at a time) out to the car, unloading the stroller, loading each twinlet into the stroller, pushing the stroller around the school, etc -- and then doing it in reverse -- twice -- does get the blood flowing. Sarah hauled both of the senior children through Target and Lowes today. But somehow it turns out kid excercise doesn't count. I think frustration must interfere somehow. For example, a stair climber provids excellent aerobic benifit, but if the stair climber also talked incessently, cried for NO good reason, demanded food, demanded the absence of food, and tried to wriggle away while you were changing it's diaper, then it would provide no aerobic benifit whatsoever.
I'm sure that could be proven in a labratory, but the research design would never make it past any review board. Too cruel for the experimental group. Even with rats.
Another way people suggest that kids will "keep you young" is by the viewing the world afresh through their innocent eyes. And sure, it's fun to watch the twinlets discover all the objects in the house (and taste them), and to see Harrison begin to make sense of the wider world around him. But largely what it reminds me is what a pain it was to be young. I mean, if an adult can't feed himself with a spoon we see that as a great hardship and send him for occupational therapy. That's the way the twinlets live EVERY DAY! And I am definately not jealous of HJ in the second grade. A ditto full of math problems would be the worst kind of torture for me. I'd rather do my taxes (and we pay someone to do those for us). Also I would rather be 80 years old than have to climb that rope in gym class again (even though I could totally do it now).
No, the way having four kids keeps us young is by keeping us too busy to notice we're getting old. Sarah didn't have time to dwell on her last hours in her thirties because she was too busy giving the twins a bath. She watched the clock roll over to midnight but then was much too tired from her day to stay up and think about it. Tomorrow she'll be rolling the twins around in the stroller and keeping hold of Grace while she watches Harrison and I in the Memorial Day parade. We're having dinner and cake at Grandma's but rather than mourning the passing of her youth, Sarah will be trying to feed two babies with one high chair.
So someday 20 or so years from now Sarah and I will wake up and realize we're in our sixties and ponder our advancing ages. Until then, though, we just don't have time.
Happy 40th, Dear. Hey, where did Shepard go?