I had a wonderful, jam-packed weekend, most of which was spent celebrating the ninth birthday of my quadruplet kids: Pat, Nick, Ken, and Helen. It started off Friday right after school with a sleepover party with four of their friends and their big brother Marty, who was nursing a side pain that landed us in the ER on Thursday. (He’s fine now, thanks.) This involved pizza, playing outside in the record-breaking heat (94F), making s’mores over an open fire, and camping out in the backyard.
The kids and their guests had a wonderful, wild time, staying up past midnight and then getting up at the crack of dawn. We dined on donuts and started playing again until the guests’ parents came to collect them, except for one boy who plays on the quads’ soccer team. I coached the quads’ last soccer game at 11:30 AM, and we all came home to collapse for a couple hours before heading out to a friend’s pool party, at which there was another cake with the quads’ names on it too.
Yesterday—the quads’ actual birthday—we spent relaxing and then visiting the kids’ big present: our new dog. His name’s Simon, a one-year-old Lakeland terrier who had been destined to be a service dog but will wind up with us soon instead.
It struck me hard that at nine years old my little ones are now halfway through their journey to adulthood and eventually leaving our home. Marty may only be here for another six years himself. It’s been such a wild and crazy near-decade with the quads that I can barely imagine what the next nine years have in store for us, but I know that they’ll go by in the same kind of flash: a mad scramble while you’re in it that seems to have passed by in a blink when it’s done.
One of the best parts of being a freelancer is that I get to set my own schedule and spend so much time with my kids, to be there for them and with them not only when they need me but even when they’d just like me around. Sometimes that might mean getting a bit less work done at the moment, but when they’re grown and gone, how much would I be willing to pay to have that time with them back? Far more than I might be losing out on now, I’m sure.
I’m determined to savor every last one of these moments with them that I can. In that way, this weekend, as brutally fun as it may have been, was a huge success.