This time last week I was cracking a whip over the head of our 17-year-old to get her suitcase packed for Spain. Earlier this afternoon I helped the 11-year-old pack for her two weeks in Texas. A short and painless 20 minutes later, we were done.
We didn't have to sit on her suitcase to get it zipped. As a matter of fact, we had plenty of room for a container of British candy she wanted to pack. And two new facepainting kits she got at the craft store in Reading to keep her and cousin Lauren entertained. No need to pay the extra £40 for this piece of cheap-o Wal-Mart luggage to get to Houston. She'll be able to fill it with the things I've asked her grandparents and aunt to help her purchase in the US - some new tennis shoes for PE, socks, and such - and STILL come in under 50 lbs for the return trip.
But I'm not so foolish as to think this won't change as she gets into her teen years. I'm sure it will be equally painful by the time she's staring down her senior year in high school. In the meantime, I'll just appreciate the fact that I still have one child who hasn't hit the high maintenance years yet.