It’s twenty degrees below freezing and the boys have a houseful of friends for the weekend. What to do? Well, if you are from Saskatchewan you grab all the snow pants and mittens and toques and scarves that you can find, and you get out the quad and the calf sled and a snowboard or two and, presto, an afternoon of fun!

Weekend fun. Friends. Laughter.

I was struck, this weekend, by how they are all growing. Not just my kids, but all of them. Clayton graduates from high school this year. Katja has grown into a beauty, tall and gorgeous and sweet-natured. Michelle is becoming a confidant young woman. And Brandi, who gives the best hugs and says I love you so freely.

And my own three. Tyson, tall and strong and maturing into independence. Colton, stretching up beyond his older brother. (I saw him without his shirt on the other day. What are those welts on your back, I asked. And then I realized they were stretch marks!) And Carter, always at the end. Racing to keep up. Just happy to be included with the big kids.

I watched Tyson, Colton, and Clayton Sunday morning, three almost-men, as they served the Lord’s Supper to the church. Standing tall at the front. These three who have grown up together. Friends.

And I am happy that, big as they are getting and mature as they are becoming they can still spend an afternoon sledding and tumbling and pushing and laughing.

For a little while longer, they are still my kids.