You know your kids are going to grow up faster than you can imagine.

Everyone tells you.

You believe it.

But one day you look at a picture and it takes you by surprise nonetheless.


In our family we credit good genetics for all sorts of things. For the affection for grammar, the appreciation for well-cut clothing, the love of notebooks, and the ability to spot a quality antique we thank the MacMahon side of the family. GrammaDonna’s genes shone through when Dagny hit an estate sale this weekend. Knowing I had my eye out for a two-level nightstand, she was excited to find a set of two mahogany Henredon tables. Ever the bargain hunter, she waited til the end of the day and got them for half price – $25 for the pair.

There’s a little ribbon in one of the drawers with a name on it – Collette Griffin. The previous owner of my tables? Did her mom or grandmother pass on an eye for finishes and hardware and construction? A desire to open things up and see how the drawer slides? To research makers and production dates? Maybe not. Luckily Dagny’s Gramma did, so I get to adopt this little bit of Collette’s history, and have just the spot to tuck my book at night.

When we moved into our house, Dagny was 7 and Rowan was 3. As I walked through the house the first day, I knew it was perfect for us at that time, but I also had an imaginary distant future in mind. A future in which our house could adapt to the kids’ getting older and bigger and needing more space, with room for us all for as long as we each wanted to live here.

Now here we are. The distant future. The year 2000. (ok, if you don’t know Flight of the Conchords you won’t think that’s funny. But I bet Rowan laughed.) And recently we’ve made some changes that I imagined that first day.

Rowan, whose perfect-for-a-three-year-old room was decidedly not perfect for a 13 year old, has moved into a much bigger room, freshly painted and equipped with a bed that belonged to her great-great grandmother.

Dagny has moved to the third floor, where she has both a bedroom and a living room. Rowan, Andrew, and I painted her bedroom for her as a surprise while she was away in February, and she and Andrew painted her living room a couple of weeks ago.

You can just barely see in this picture that on the wall to the left of the windows a bunch of dates are written, marking Dagny and Rowan’s growth over the past ten years. Dagny carefully recorded and rewrote them when she painted, which I think was awfully nice of her considering it’s a record of Rowan overtaking her in height.

Some people want their kids to move out when they turn 18. Me, I’m still imagining a distant future that includes a family growing together and a house that adapts to accommodate us all for as long as we each want to live here.

Ok, ya, Jon dyed Dagny’s hair and it’s very cool and everything, but what I really like about this picture?

It shows Dagny’s constellation. See the triangle? Three perfect little freckles. Makes me want to play dot to dot and squeeze her really tight.

I’m thinking about sending my kids to school. So many people have brought up so many good points over the years. They’re all coming together in my head and making me see the error of my ways.

April Fools.