I work with fourth and fifth graders every day. I enjoy them, get joy from them, and they seem to like me. But they are not my own.
Yesterday one little boy, Jacob, brought his Pokemon card collection to show me. I know about Pokemon. I can appreciate Pokemon.
My children collected the cards for years. Keegan, my middle son, was really into Pokemon cards. He wanted to go to the card shop every day to trade cards and get new ones. He bought the card sleeves and notebook, and arranged his cards according to how valuable they were. He used to have a book explaining each different Pokemon character, their powers, and their special skills. Keegan would ask me to hold the book and quiz him on the characters like he was studying for a test. So I learned Pokemon.
Yesterday, when Jacob got his collection out, it was almost like I was back with Keegan when he was eleven. It might still make me sad even if I was in Keegan's life. All children grow up. And when I was with my kids I would look at their baby pictures and reminisce. I would miss them as babies, but enjoy the age they had become.