It only occurred to me recently that our kids are four years apart in school. I mean…I knew it but I hadn’t really thought about what that means. It hit me when we received the email reminding Miguel to order his cap and gown during the same week we planned Zeca’s first high school visits. He’ll be starting college next year and she’ll be starting high school, which means that they will both graduate in 2023. Hopefully.

This is an exciting time for both of them and though we don’t yet know what schools they will attend next year, they are on the cusp of major transitions. Most likely, Miguel will not be living at home next year and will have his first taste of true independence as he makes a life separate from us. Zeca will be here and have our full attention (which she may or may not enjoy) and will finally be able to explore her passion for music more in depth during the school day.

I don’t know what it will be like for Luisa and me. I think it will be a little quieter around here and the pace might be a bit slower. Beyond that, we’ll see. And I know it’s a cliche but it seems like only yesterday that they were little. If I close my eyes and think back, I can almost feel their tiny hands in mine and their slobbery toddler kisses on my cheeks. I don’t want to go back there but I do occasionally wish I could visit for an hour…as long as I got to pick the hour and it wasn’t bedtime, nap time, or during a tantrum. But really, I love them so much as they are right now. We can have deep conversations and laugh together now, something that was abstraction in those early days. This is all to say - I’m grateful for it all. When I look at pictures - then and now - I think to myself, “Lucky me.”