Paige is now nine. Nine going on 17. She got her ears pierced for her birthday, making her seem even more grown up.
She was pretty brave about the whole thing. We asked her if it hurt and she said, "It felt like they were stapling my ears." Which was pretty much what they were doing.
When you're in the middle of it, you don't really realize how quickly your kids are growing up. It's a gradual process--except in Paige's case, where it happened overnight.
I still remember the night.
It was two summers ago. We were in St. George and all the kids had been playing at the splash pad on Main Street. Before we went home, Paige and all of her cousins (Paige is the oldest of the bunch) went on the merry-go-round. After the ride, all of the kids piled back out except for Paige.
We were pretty worried. It was getting dark and we couldn't see her anywhere. After a few anxious minutes, we found her in the parking lot, standing by the car.
"Paige," we said. "What are you doing over here? Why did you leave without telling us? We thought you were lost!"
She stared back at us, silently defiant.
Finally, she responded. "I didn't want to go on the merry-go-round. It's babyish!"
And with that--at age seven--Paige decided she was done being a kid. The next weekend, I took Paige and Curtis to a Bees game. As usual, we stood in line for ages to ride the little train around the outfield. When we finally made to the front, Paige refused to get on the train.
"I'm not going," she said flatly. "This train is for babies."
All of the things she had liked for the first seven years of her life had instantly become too immature. We were done with the train, the merry-go-round, Lalaloopsy dolls, and even SpongeBob SquarePants.
Now Paige is nine and all grown up. She loves reading and drawing and watching High School Musical on repeat. It makes me sad that she's given up the kid stuff, but fortunately, every once in a while, she'll forget for a minute or two when she's playing with her little brothers.
She has a very creative mind. She writes books for Tate and draws comics for Curtis about Pop Tart people (spoiler alert: they all get eaten in the end). She makes me sweet little cards every time I'm sick and loves when Traci hugs her.
I can't believe she's been a part of our life for nine years; it's almost hard to remember life without her. Happy birthday, Baby Page--I mean Ms. Paige. We love you!