Caldwell: ‘From the mouths of babes’ rings true

Published 2:58 pm Monday, January 23, 2017

I was recently trying to come to terms with the fact my oldest daughter is turning nine next week when my wife really threw me for a loop: “You know she is half way to being an adult, don’t you?”

I had never really thought about it like that.

My mind was officially blown.

It seems like only yesterday I brought her home from the hospital wrapped up in a swaddle blanket so she looked like a pink jellybean.

It doesn’t seem long ago at all that we introduced her to her baby sister, who will be seven this summer.

I flashed through memories of all kinds: first tooth, first words, kindergarten graduation, soccer goals, dance recitals and so many more.

Starting to have children a little later in life compared to many of our friends, we heard all the advice and old axioms like “enjoy them while they are young because it will be over before you know it.”

Every parent takes special joy in all the little things in life. It’s is the common thread that binds us all.

It warms my heart to listen to my children talk and get a glimpse inside their heads.

“Avery, what’s the best part of turning 9 years old?” I asked.

“I get to go to my favorite place in the whole world (Great Wolf Lodge water park in Cincinnati, which has inadvertently become her birthday tradition) and spend time with my family,” she said with a big smile.

What’s she looking forward to in her last year of single digits?

“I can improve things, like math, and I can go more places, like camp.”

What do you love about this world?

“That I live in a good country and state,” she said. “And that there is ice cream. I love ice cream.”

Even serious questions like “what would you change in your life?” can’t hide the innocence.

“I don’t want bad people in the world,” she said with an earnestness bred from Disney movies and our constant reassurances that she can make a difference.

It took just a few minutes to remind myself — thankfully — that at least she is only half way to being an adult.

Like most parents, I’ll do everything I can to enjoy the second half just as much as the first.

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Winchester Sun and Winchester Living magazine. He can be reached at (859) 759-0095 or by email at mike.caldwell@winchestersun.com.