Today marks the end of the decade of 2000's....the "aughts" as my grandfathers might have called it (at least that's what they called the first decade of the previous century).
Things have changed for us in the past ten years.
Ten years ago, Sue and I celebrated New Year's Eve as guests at an officer's club at an Air Force base...a base that today is regularly sending troops into combat.
Ten years ago, our three boys were quite small...4, 1 and our third only a few weeks old. Now the oldest is taller than Sue and the "little guys" are not so little any more.
Here's how I described life ten years ago...
December 4, 1999
"Dooby, doo doop doo wop bop deeda da. Dooby doo doop doo wop bop deeda da."
"Grant." I yell to him in the kitchen. "Pipe down."
I am sitting on our couch feeding Wilster (our new guy) having just turned off the TV news, resigning myself to the fact that I will know nothing about the world while parenting three children under the age of five.
Our one and a half year old, Zackie, is in the middle of the living room playing with Matchbox cars and a small red wagon. He puts a few cars into the wagon then drags the wagon across the living room floor. The top of his shirt is wet (he's getting more teeth and has been drooling all day).
Suddenly he stops and looks at the baby.
"Ah oh." He says.
Zach has a three phrase vocabulary right now. His words are "Hi", "Da" (meaning uncertain) and "Ah oh" (which means I need to kiss the baby right now and you better get out of my way).
He interrupts his play to kiss the seven week old baby sometimes as often as every three to five minutes.
He quickly moves from the wagon to the couch. Then, he opens his mouth as wide as he can and puts it on the baby's head.
"Ah." He says and moves back to the wagon.
I wipe the spit off of the baby's bald head.
"Dooby doo doop doo wop bop deeda da." I hear again from the kitchen.
Zackie, meanwhile decides to stand on the wagon with one foot.
"Hey be careful." I say while still feeding the baby.
"Jingle bells, jingle bells." Grant sings as he comes into the living room and goes to the toy box.
He grabs a plastic golf club.
"Hey Dad, hey Dad."
"You know what this is?" he asks.
"A golf club." I reply.
"No, it's what Indians use, it's a homatawk."
"Oh really?" I say not correcting him. "A what?"
It's a homatawk Dad, and I'm an Indian."
Grant starts making whooping noises while patting him mouth.
Zackie then does the same from the red wagon.
Grant then starts running around the room and Zack begins chasing him. When Grant turns to chase Zack, Zackie runs quickly to me in order to get away.
After a few laps around the living room, dining room and kitchen, Grant returns to the toy box and pulls out a super soaker gun.
"Hey Dad, hey Dad."
"You know who I am?"
"I'm Luke Skywalker."
"Yeah, and I'm after Stormtroopers. Bam, bam." He says as he blasts away at the fictitious people.
"Zack can be Han Solo, and Will can be Chewbacca."
He blasts away some more.
Meanwhile, Zackie has found the book "Yertle the Turtle" and brings it to me. With the baby on my left arm, I pull Zack up on the couch with my right and open the book.
I've learned that you can't really read a book slowly to Zack...he turns the pages too quickly.
I read the book, but the story has a few "holes" in it without reading every page.
Zackie then moves to the side of the couch and stands up. He's our resident daredevil.
"Take a seat." I say with a smile and push him down.
He laughs as he tumbles down on the pillows and the cushions on the couch.
In the process of reading and playing with Zackie I notice that the bottle of milk is not in Will's mouth anymore but instead is now running down his cheek and into his ear.
I grab a paper towel and wipe it off.
Sue has come down from our bedroom.
"Who wants a horsey ride?" she asks.
"I do. I do." Grant yells.