once you are {five}

 

she and i will share thoughts and conversations gifted to those of five

she can run fast these days, and she is certain to remind me by example.  "Watch this!" she exclaims.  

all of the charming toddler pudge has slowly disappeared, leaving a lanky, strong child-frame in its place.  there is no mistake that she is almost five.  

although she has wanted to be five ever since she turned four, i am glad four had its turn--it allowed me to grow into a parent of a five-year-old oh so slowly.

this will be a fun age.  i'm sure of it!  

even though she is getting a smidgen older, she's still not old enough to completely refuse my soft pleas for cuddle time.

this girl of mine, in smiles and brilliant eyes, is just like that baby i met five years ago.  i've been there the whole time, watching the subtle changes that only appear striking when glancing back at those long-ago pictures.  how can it be?

what will five mean to her? 

sadly, i fear it might mean trying to fit in.  it might mean noticing the differences in girls, in features and how society perceives that kind of beauty: skin deep.  it might mean more tears when the weight of being "left out" cuts into her spirit.  it might mean needing me to play with her less often where instead she enters into an imaginary world, kept safe by the bubble she creates for it.  

at each stage of a child's growth--infancy to adulthood--there will always be the favorite moments of that era washed with the challenges and drudgery of that age.  they blend.  they blur...  and then we realize that the spin cycle was set too high and time has flown by.  mustard stains and grass stains have vanished, but the clothes will be packed up and then given to someone who will fit into them once more.

so i know this next year of five-ness will offer its own unique favored moments only five can bring.  it will mean that this child of mine will have more to say to me and will be able to express herself more fully.  she and i will share thoughts and conversations gifted to those of five.  those teachable moments will be plentiful, so i will need to be ready to hug and speak truth into her heart.  to listen.  really listen.  

it's a well-said phrase that we are not raising children, but rather adults.  all of these ages stacked one on top of the other build that adult.  i hope and pray that the blocks will be filled with courage, strength, kindness, appreciation for the beauty in the world, a love for Jesus, an enjoyment of reading, a vibrancy for curiosity, a voice that is loud and unyielding in the face of injustice, and sturdy relationships with her mom, dad, and sister.  

and you can say it as often as you'd like, sophia, "you'll always be my mommy.  i love you to wisconsin and the moon and back."  and i'll always repeat the same to you.

welcome to being five sweet sophia!  you've been waiting awhile for it.  enjoy it!  don't grow out of it too fast.

happy birthday little love.