Monday, July 1, 2013
Age Nine is Sublime
Need a boost? Lacking a little joy these days? My solution: Have another kid. A third kid, to be precise. They're great. Especially when they turn nine.
Don't have even one kid yet? Go adopt a few. Or go hang around a bunch of nieces and nephews and cousins. Or perhaps you have too many kids? Pay close attention to what the younger one says, particularly how they respond to their older (teenage) siblings. Things get funny.
There's just something about being both the baby of the family and age nine. Day in and day out, my nine-year-old is privy to all sorts of juicy family details...details I wish I could share. But my kids would flat out DIE if I dished all. So since I can't talk about their "poopy diapers" anymore, just watch an episode of The Middle or Claire's family on Modern Family, and you'll catch a wiff. Er, I mean...catch my drift.
So as you can imagine, my youngest is my savviest. Who else asks the tough questions around here - "Is Bud Light real beer?" "How much money is a lot of money (and) do you make it?" "What are six-pack abs?" "Did you guys kiss yet?" "Did Michael Jackson love Jesus?" - while practicing hand stands and waiting for UPS to deliver her new craft book and 48-count gel pen set?
I often tell my "thank you but we are happy at two" friends to do what needs to be done - close your eyes if you have to - and go for it. Have one more before you get the snip-snip. Yes, life is sweet when they're eight and five. But trust me, soon they'll be 16 and 13, and you'll wish you had a third one doing cartwheels in the background when your 13 year old burps obnoxiously in front of company and your oldest one almost crashes the car into the garage.
Sure it's not that easy. Having more than two - or having any - isn't always a practical decision, I guess. And of course, kids these days, right? Plugged-in all the time. Kind of bratty and entitled. Before you know it, their bra strap is showing - on purpose - and you've had it up to here.
And if adoption isn't an option, there's the whole getting pregnant again thing. And having to get it out of you thing. AND the first three (exhausting) years of the kid's life thing. All that is over with in a flash. And what if that bonus oops baby extends stretch marks an extra inch? You can always work it out with a plastic surgeon later on.
But what I'm saying is, if at all possible, have at least three. Joy aplenty will be yours. That's my experience, anyway. Got a third and it's not working out for you? Like I said, hang in there until they turn nine, an age that stands bright and cheery up against the backdrop of all-things teen.
Besides, children are a gift from the Lord. "How joyful is the one whose quiver is full of them," says Psalm 127. How full is full exactly? There's no rule. I'm merely suggesting three. If not for any other reason than to hear your youngest - when he or she turns nine - say, "Can I have another brownie? Because I wasn't paying attention when eating the first one."