4.06.2010

Five

She ushers her adoring sister down the stairs in the morning and pours them both cereal. She takes herself to the bathroom, even in the middle of the night. When she draws people, they look like people. She wants to know how everything is spelled, and more and more often, she can tell me before I tell her. This weekend, she made her own Mii so she could bowl with her great-grandparents on her own, and for her little person, she chose the biggest smile available and a clip to keep the hair out of her eyes.

In a few weeks, Bee will turn five.

I could write a whole lot about being a mother to a five year old, and I could write a whole lot more about that five year old, but what I am being struck by as we both approach this crazy anniversary is, more than anything, how things have suddenly changed.

We are – Bee is – completely immersed in a new phase, and how we got here is not leaving me nearly as gobsmacked as the fact that we are here. We are here, in this new place where infancy and babyhood and toddlerhood and preschoolhood is behind us. We are here, in this unmapped place where I find myself floundering a bit for a foothold while Bee dances breezily past me and straight into this new place, this new phase, this… childhood.

I am determined not to let the melancholy of my sentimentalism block the door this new place. As she looks back at me for reassurance before venturing forward, I will nod in gentle encouragement, but the truth is, she probably won’t look back. She will probably bound forward, sure of herself; moving instinctually into and around and through friendship and learning and exploring and laughing and mentoring and imagining; jumping over roadblocks, never questioning her joy.

I will try so hard to mother her knowing that this – this new childhood, this place where there is still so much to discover and rebellion is doled out in antics that her parents still laugh about in the privacy of their adulthood – this is gold-spun sugar, and it is so sweet and so precious, and oh, ye gods of parenting, please don’t let me fuck this up. These are finally days she will remember and please, please, let her remember them with a smile, but first, let us live them with a smile and a laugh and happiness and love.

In a few weeks, Bee will turn five, and though she mewled, brand new in my arms mere moments ago, we are now here, in this new place.

In a few weeks, Bee will turn five, and I am going to smile at my beautiful daughter, and we’re going to hold hands and hopscotch together into her childhood, and we’re not going to look back.





***

20 comments:

  1. *snurf*

    You may not be letting yourself be sentimental about it, but you are lightning-rod-like here in attracting my mood and making ME sentimental. You see, in a few weeks, Pumpkinpie turns 6. and I'm trying hard to figure out how to make sure my corrections are not all she remembers, and that the joy the Bun brings is not the only joy she sees, and to try to shake off my exhaustion and really be more present. There's so much I want to do with her, show her, teach her, talk about, and it's starting to feel like there will never be enough time.

    *snurf*

    ReplyDelete
  2. Isn't it crazy! Love this.

    ReplyDelete
  3. OY, I so relate. Beautiful post, Karen. *tears*!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. So beautiful. And with her awesome mama, she WILL bound happily into childhood.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love this. It is a good lesson to us all to enjoy these days.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Beautiful. I especially love the statement that she will finally remember. Will is newly 3 and I'm often melancholy that she won't remember all of these moments.

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a beautiful post. My daughter is nearly 5 1/2 and I often am amazed at how grown up she has become over the last year.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm excited for 5. I'm looking ahead, and also trying not to look back too hard. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. what a phenomenal writer you are. always givin' me goose bumps. thanks so much for the kind words on me blog today. what doodle made your leg?!? i'm dying to know!! :D

    ReplyDelete
  10. 5 seems so very far away when you are breastfeeding around the clock watching reruns of MASH at 3 in the morning, but I guess it just sneaks up on you. I am struggling with the fact that my youngest is eating toast. Toast! Just sitting there in her highchair eating toast, without my help! I'm practically an empty- nester!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love this. My own daughter turned 5 in February, and I think she is in the same place. And I am just left wondering how the heck this happened.

    ReplyDelete
  12. bitch. I am crying now. I think I may be ovulating. Honey....Oh, Nicholas dear....

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm always at this place just a bit ahead of you, but I love reading your version of it. I too got emotional on reading this, but just so friggin' proud of us -- how far we've come as people because of them. And how far we've come as writers because of this medium. Love you to bits. ~N

    ReplyDelete
  14. smiling. Just smiling at your pride.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Though my childhood was a little bit rough (no sarcasm there - "little bit" is literal) with Tourette's and bullies and a very over-stressed and easy to anger mom,
    I remember five still, 30.9 years later. Five was a sweet and a fun, a gentle and a playful, an exploratory and adventurous age!
    Hooray for five!

    ReplyDelete
  16. It's crazy ride, but it's awfully fun. I am gob-smacked at how big they've gotten all of sudden.

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is gold-spun sugar...

    Oh, it is, it is, and as I watch my own five, dreaming new worlds and making them happen with his capable little hands, it seems so, so removed from the baby days.

    But then he lets me read and cuddle him to sleep at night, and it feels so close.

    This is gold spun sugar. You're right, and this was beautifully put.

    I'm sorry I haven't been around much. I have missed your words.

    ReplyDelete
  18. beautiful. there is no more to say, just ... beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I just Loved this post- I meant to comment last week about it actually.
    I only wish my 5 year old realization had been half as eloquent.
    maybe I'll just put a link to your blog for Lulu's b-day post and just write ditto.

    beautiful post- as always.

    ReplyDelete

Talk to me.