It was May, and then all of a sudden it was June.
Which means it was my birthday (happy birthday to me), and that it's getting ridiculously hot outside, and that I'm about 10&1/2 weeks along, and that my oldest niece is graduating from high school and going to college ACK.
She was a tiny baby with lots and lots of hair that stood up like a mohawk or went out to the sides like someone had put a graduation cap on her head. Then she was five, and had a crush on my boyfriend, then she was ten, and copied everything I did, and then she was fifteen and a somewhat moody teenager, and then she was 16 and driving and crying over the fact I was going to get married and leeeeeeeeeeeave her, and now I have senior pictures and prom pictures and she is stunning and almost 19 and picking out her dorm room bedspread.
The other nieces and nephews aren't making this any easier, as my oldest nephew is at one of the military academies right now (yes I know which one, and no, I'm not telling the Internet), for what I gather is a scoping out session. He has wanted a military academy since he could articulate the word academy. My sister protests that he is not built for it or cut out for military life or is too much of a wimp or something. I beg to differ, I think silently as I watch him take what I think amounts to physical assault at Krav Maga class and bounce right back up, then give as good as he got. I think the problem lies with her--having family members in the active armed service is nerve wrecking. I don't think she wants anymore of that after my father and my brother. I don't think I blame her. I don't think I blame him either for wanting it.
My brother counted it up one time--all the hours that my dad served, that he served, and got some ridiculous crazy number that became years, not hours. When you added in my uncles and the occasional aunt, the number was to the stars.
The others are still young--Jeter is 13, and an avid athlete. Jedi is now 11, and is my mom's little buddy as well as a mathematician. Blossom is also 11 and is a shopaholic, Brick is 9 and well... he's a 9 year old boy. What can you say? Bringing up the rear is Petunia, who at 5 is the consummate flirt. Who knows what they will all be.
I am compulsively, obsessively, annoyingly, heart-wrenchingly proud of my family. They make me crazy most of the time, but only I am allowed to say that. They hurt me deeply and infuriate me when they hurt Vor, but they can do such good things that I could cry with love. I'm sure I do the same thing to them.
There are just moments where I wish I could freeze the clock and stare at them all for awhile.