Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Things I Will Miss About My 5-Year-Old

Christopher will be turning six in a few weeks and I'm really, really, really going to miss him being five.  

I will miss the sweet words with r's that aren't pronounced quite right like "fuhst" (first) and "puhson" (person) and "buhd" (bird).  I videotaped Christopher reading a book with these words in it because I know pretty soon he won't say them like this anymore.  I don't ever want to forget his little voice or the way he says these little words.

I will miss the agreeable, sweet, always-smiling 5-year-old who, on the verge of his 6th birthday, is argumentative, sometimes nasty and beginning to clench his teeth in fits of anger.  I remember his brother started turning into the Incredible Hulk when he got mad...right after the six-year mark.  What the heck is it about turning six?

Up until now I've been able to call the shots and rattle him with my "don't-you-even-think-about-it" looks that stop him dead in his tracks.  Not that I had to do that very often because Christopher is my agreeable one.  He never used to argue, always did as he was asked and rarely got upset.  Now he's arguing.  A lot.  I do want my kids to be independent and I do want them to think logically for themselves, but not at the expense of my sanity for Pete's sake.  No one told me I would have to choose between sanity and independent kids.  Now I know why I used to think my mother was a little bit crazy.

I will miss five because my 5-year-old thought I knew everything.  My almost 6-year-old questions my definitions and motives.   My 5-year-old tells me to wear lip gloss because it makes me look pretty and my almost 6-year-old grunts when I dive in for a kiss.  Can't I just stop time and keep my agreeable, adoring, 5-year-old for a little while longer?  Does he really have to cross that threshold into a challenging, opinionated and very stubborn little man?

I will  miss my 5-year-old because the days of us spending all of our waking hours together is coming to an end.  He will be in school full-time in the fall and I already know what life is like when that happens.  I will get to see him for a few minutes after school and at dinner in between playing with friends, homework, sports and piano practice.  When Nicholas crossed that threshold, I still had my baby at home.  Now that my baby is crossing that threshold, I'm left to wonder where the hell the time went.

So, I want to hang onto five a little longer because it was an amazing year.  I will keep a special place in my heart for the year we had so much fun together and thoroughly enjoyed each other's company, just the two of us.  We've made the most of our time together, had some great adventures and equally terrific conversations. I'm not saying we'll never have another adventure or another great conversation after he turns six, but we'll never have the innocence and simplicity that we do right now.

When life interrupts and years go speeding by and Christopher matures even more, I will miss the simplicity of my 5-year-old the most.



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