Christa, my almost six-year-old, comes and stands next to me.
"How tall am I?" she asks.
I do a quick calculation without stopping my dinner preparations.
"You're up to my waist."
She jumps up and down, shouting, "Yippee! I'm getting taller! I'm almost a grown-up!"
Such is the challenge of raising a caboose kid--one born twelve years after her sister, Amy, fourteen years after her sister, Katie Beth, and seventeen years after her brother, Josh.
She so wants to catch up with her much older siblings. She wants to grow up now.
Reality is: I can't speed up her life, just as I can't slow down my three oldest kids' lives.
I stop all the chopping and dicing and put my arms around my oh-so-eager-to-be-older daughter and tell her, "Don't be in such a rush, Sugarplum. Enjoy your life now. Have fun now."
It's not the first time I encouraged her to enjoy being a child and I know it won't be the last. I don't want her to wish away her childhood. I don't want her to always be looking for the fast-forward button on her life. She'll be all grown up--and probably taller than me--all too soon.