If there's one thing that makes you want to reach your arms around your children and pull them into a silken cocoon where all that is served is strawberry milk and chicken nuggets, where nothing but Magic Schoolbus plays all day, where growth is arrested and everyone stays exactly the age they are for eternity, it's being around teenage boys.
One day this week, during Fruit Bat and Kitty Cat's winter break, we went up to the school to ride bikes. Slumped across the play structure were three kids, all male, all about sixteen. One was of Indian descent, the other two were white, with longish, scruffy hair. You know how they wear it now.
"What do you want to do?' one of them muttered.
"Get picked up by your mommy?" This was said, in an Indian accent, by a white kid, and was directed at the Indian boy.
"I wanna shoot people," the other white kid said.
The Indian boy: "I bet you do."
I watched Fruit Bat and Kitty Cat whizzing back and forth across the pavement on their small bicycles. Oh God, I thought. Oh, please. I hate these boys.
"So, man. What do you wanna do?"
It was right then that I reminded myself to enjoy this. Not being near the obnoxious teenage boys this. But having a six and four-year-old this. Because this is now and this is here, when Fruit Bat and Kitty Cat will still wind themselves around me like koalas grasping gum trees.
And it will not last forever.