I wish I'd known. I wish I'd known that last year's visit to the local pumpkin patch would yield the last photos of my two children, together, willingly posing by all the cute fall displays.
Apparently, once you hit thirteen, you are now "too cool" to have your picture taken at the pumpkin patch. Even though, for some reason, it's still "OK" to go there - just not have your picture taken. I think FaceBook is to blame..... Even bribery and threats don't work.
For a "tween," it's no problem. You don't mind having your photo taken in the window of the Pumpkin House.
If you are thirteen, you run away around the corner and hide.
If you are a tween, you happily pose next to the dried corn stalks.
If you are thirteen, you hide behind your mother and hope that she doesn't realize she can turn the camera around.
If you are a tween, you enjoy having your picture taken next to a giant pumpkin.
If you are thirteen, you run away. Far, far away.
If you are a tween, you suggest an attractive pose for a close-up.
If you are thirteen, you lurk outside of the Pumpkin House, so you can still be close to the action, yet not consenting to provide actual photographic evidence that you were really there.
I can only try console myself with the fact that even though I am losing the milestones of childhood, I am gaining the milestones of adulthood that will present themselves in the coming years. Homecoming, driver's license, and proms. It's a bittersweet position, being at this nexus between childhood and adulthood. Looking forward has always served me well in life's transitions and challenges. But I still can't help looking back and feeling just a little bit sad.