All kids grow up.

I get that. But often times it happens faster than we expect, and before you know it, your daughter is at Target, buying fuzzy pillows and a lava lamp to decorate her dorm room.

My oldest isn’t there just yet, but he’s certainly growing up faster than Billy Gilman. (Can you believe Billy turned 21 last week and now sports facial hair? Not to mention that his voice sounds about three octaves lower.)

Almost a year ago, I was with the boys at our favorite grocery store, where we have ‘donut dates.’ We grab donuts on a Saturday morning, swing by Starbucks for coffee because momma needs her caffeine, and grab some milk for the boys. We usually end our trip with a ride on the mechanical pony located near the front of the store. (I should clarify that I don’t ride, thank you very much.)

Then one day the pony had a sign which read, ‘Out of Order.’

Griffin was fine with that, Hayden was devastated. So we waited a few weeks for the repairman, or the vet as I told my youngest, to come fix Mr. Pony. Only that didn’t happen.

Fast-forward to a week ago, when a friend who is employed at the store left me a message to say that a brand new pony had arrived, and was now up and running. We returned for donuts, chocolate-iced for Griff, sprinkles for Hayden, and I mentioned to the boys that the pony was back. Hayden was elated. Griffin? No response.

He wrinkled his nose as if to say, ‘You don’t expect ME to ride it do you?’ Truth be told, I knew he wouldn’t want to, but didn’t want to hear him say so. ‘Mommmmm, I’m 7. C’mon,’ he said.

I’m sure he only rode the thing last year to please his younger toddler brother, I just wasn’t thrilled to be reminded that laser tag was now more his style. Please tell me I’m not the only mom who has experienced this. What kind of mom WANTS her son to still do kiddie stuff?

It’s tough watching kids grow up, yet they do.

They climb the fence of life, traditions get replaced by new ones and before long they’re not as quick to make room for you at the school lunch table.

Hug ’em while you can…love ’em even longer.