I can measure much of my life in seasons. Without elaborating in too much detail, the first season I remember in life is probably when I was 4, before my mom and dad divorced, the next season I remember is when I was in grade school and my siblings were my best friends, moving into adulthood there was the college season, then the season where I learned a bit about who I was in the Army, marriage, kids, divorce, remarriage, more kids. Seasons change and sometimes there isn’t really a defining moment, I just realize that something has changed and we have moved forward. Another season in life has recently passed and noticing Elmo on my Suburban DVD player brought it to my attention.
When we got the DVD player the movies were enjoyable for both Dorothy and Liam, poor Dustin has been shafted since the get-go. SpongeBob, Labryinth (yes, the cheese David Bowie muppets on heroin variety), and Nemo graced the screen so that the kids would ride in silence from point A to point B. Gradually Dorothy began to lose interest in the movies and they were specifically catered to Liam. If the DVD wasn’t on, Kidz Bop blasted from the speakers because Dustin, Dorothy and Liam liked to sing along. Maggie had no interest in the movies or the music, and everyone was happy.
Now that I think about it, I think the change was set in motion after a trip to visit friends when they loaned us a Baby Einstein video to help Maggie out on the ride home. It wasn’t immediate, Liam’s movies still took up most of the screen time, but since that point Maggie’s billing on the screen increased rapidly. Music has ended. Now, when we get in the car Maggie becomes anxious pointing at the drop-down screen, waving frantically and shouting *MELMO* until his little red body and irritating high pitched voice appears. Liam kind of watches, but Elmo is definately not his choice and he watches primarily when the batteries on his Leapster or Gameboy have died.
We have passed the season of “Anything to keep Liam happy” to the new season of “Anything to keep Maggie happy.” To an outsider, these may seem very much the same, but to me, there is so much more. My seasons of life have been dominated by babies and little bitty kids for a long time. The kids are becoming more independant every day. Dustin is growing into a young man and will turn 11 in March. Just a short time ago he was pushing a popcorn popper across the floor squealing in delight as he chased the dog, now he is trustworthy enough to leave home alone for a bit and asking for a cell phone. He had a girlfriend for a couple of days and the girls are starting to notice his big smile and deep dimples. I think that the next decade will be filled with the season of teenagers….