Monday, January 26, 2009

(almost) five.

it's hitting me really hard lately.

i am the mommy of an (almost) five year old.

and i don't know why that title feels so seemingly miraculous or noteworthy or even the slightest bit heartwrenching. but it does.

looking back - the first birthday felt extraordinary. so much more anniversary-like. the whole one-year-ago-today-i-held-you-for-the-first-time emotion tumbling forward and outward.

her second birthday ... felt a bit more rushed ... but more her's. i was less a part of it. it sped by. so quickly. i wanted more than it gave.

third birthday ... definitely belonged to her. so significantly less about mommy at that point. she was a total and complete separate person. exploring on her own. becoming her.

fourth birthday ... i begged for it not to happen. it felt too old for my baby. i wanted three back. but it came ... and went. and she was still my baby.

and now? this fifth birthday is sending my heart reeling back to my memories of holding this little tiny being and feeling so overtly unprepared for what life was going to become.

because all of the preparation i had in waiting for you gave me ... no idea i could love this much. and without abandon. and wholly.

and five is all about growing up and school and meeting new friends that are separate from your family.

it's about trusting someone new with my child. allowing this new member of team-stella introduce my baby to ideas and concepts and learning. without the ability to interview him or her first to make sure that s/he's cut out for the team. it's about breathing when you realize that your baby will be going into that bathroom by herself ... and on a school bus ... and possibly eating lunch ... and you can't be there.

it's about watching my first born make decisions about what to wear and realizing that i should never try to control or harness that creativity. because if she thinks that pink and green match the pink and green polka dots on her tights ... because ... hello? ... they are pink and green ... that it is totally fine. it might become all the rage.

five is all about the realization that 2 + 3 + 5 is 10. and so is 3 + 2 + 5. and even 5 + 3 + 2 equals 10. really it does! and did you know that mom upside down is wow. and pink is spelled p . i . n . k . and the word top can be like at the top of something ... and it's a toy that spins around! isn't the world amazing, mama? it's all intertwined and stuff.

the world gets so fucking big all of a sudden ... when you have a gonna-be-five-year-old. china is all the way on the other side of the world! did you know that the sun is going to come up over there? right now?? so many people go to washington dc to see the president! where is daddy tonight? what time is it there? how far away is daddy? and how can we talk to him on the phone? how does it work??

and yet. right now ...

she's still four.

she still cries when someone hurts her feelings. she pouts when she doesn't get her way. she gets time-outs when she needs to learn that she did something ... not right. she still wants to be carried when she's tired. she saunters up and closes in when she needs hugs and lovin'. she glows when you talk about how wonderful she is. she starts to make horses have triangle shaped ears ... only because you mentioned it one time - and she wants to be right.

so, darlin? when you see mama's tears rolling down her cheek as we near this birthday ... don't worry. they are a good mix of happy and sad. mommy is pretty much ok. she just misses her baby a little bit. but she really really loves this big girl too.

so ... stay tuned if you like a good birth story. because of this girl and this girl and this girl and a friend that let me put my hand on her tummy to feel her new little one moving saturday night ... i'm feeling a little more like getting the story of stella's birth out there.
but maybe on saturday ... when the girly-girls go down early and i can invest in a couple of glasses of wine. and more tears. because i so know that the tears will flow with that one.


Christine Brandel said...

*Hugs* I completely understand where you're coming from. What's killing me right now is the ten year old (TEN!! How did that happen? How did Kira get to be ten?) living in my house who I don't even know sometimes. It's amazing. Makes me want to push 'pause' on my life sometimes, just to hang on to my babies longer.

Allison said...

It is understandable to feel like that - and not to scare you, but the whole not having control over who talks to them and what gets taught to them - REALLY SUCKS! School with all its wonder, has created more conversations in our house that I was sure my 6 year old was way to young to need.

Christy said...

5? WOW! I get all teary-eyed when I think about preschool. I can't even imagine kindergarten.

Sprite's Keeper said...

Oh, how sweet!

Mama Kalila said...

Coming from AM and you just made me cry... We're about half way to the second one and I can't believe how quickly it's flying by... I can't even imagine 5.

3 Peas in a Pod said...

5 is hard. Really hard. What you wrote is spot on. My son will be six in 2 weeks. He started kindergarten in September and rides the school bus. I have passed his bus 2 times with him on it (on my way back from dropping off my other son at preschool) and I saw his little head yet he didn't see me. It was not a good feeling and I wanted to follow the bus and take him off. I almost started crying. Thinking about it today still chokes me up. That same bus broke down one day and I called transportation to find out what the problem was and went and found them. My son was starting to panic as he thought he would never see me again. It took everything I had to let him ride the bus again the next day. He was fine, I was not. It's going to be the same way when your daughter starts school. She will be fine and you will be sad. I'm hoping it gets easier with the next 2...but I doubt it.

I realize my comment won't make you feel better but just know that you're not alone with what you're feeling.


Trailing Mira said...

Wow..... reading these comments give me some perspective as to what it will be like when I have kids (although it's probably nothing like what I anticipate!).... :) You moms should all be so proud !!!

Casey said...

Aww, I'm getting teary eyed just reading this. I'm glad she's still a little girl in some aspects, but five.. wow, she's a big girl too! I can't even imagine my kids being five but I never imagined two either and now Graham's turning into his own little person with likes and dislikes (he has a lot of those).

Can't wait to hear the birth story...

Kelle said... will write it. and i know it will be beautiful. and i can't even imagine five. my brain shuts down.

Heidi said...

holy crapola...this post is right on the mark. my daughter, peyton just turned 4, but 5 is looming and rearing it's hideous head. okay, not hideous, but unwelcome head for sure.

right on with the 1-4 bday accounts. her 4th birthday was ALL about her this year...damn...i didn't even get to pick the candles for the cake, or the balloons, or the theme,... LOL. i guess it is the way it should be tho.

great post. loved it!
write that birth story!!

A Buns Life said...

This was so sweet...5 is super big, but I was ready for it. 6 hit me like a ton of bricks for some reason. I actually cried, I don't really know why. Maybe because it is a new age bracket, 6-10, or the beginning of school all day or something. It's all no good, honestly. :)