Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Five

Who knew that going from this














to this



















Would take just a heartbeat?

Five. She's five today.

Five. I don't know where the time has gone. Yesterday, as I was changing E, M was there and we were talking about me working and having gone back to work after she was born. M asked, "Why did you go back to work?" and honestly, I don't know why I did. I realize now, staying home with E, how much I missed with M. Little things. Things I know I won't remember, but that still seem important today. The things that I despise about parenting is that you can't remember everything and that its gone too quickly. There were times during Four that I longed to reach Five, but now that it is here, I ache for Four once more. I remember, too, saying to T one day while holding E who was less than a month old, how I wanted to hold M at that age once more. Just once more to have the magic of her as a newborn. Unfortunately, this would become a slippery slope as I'd also want the once more of her as a 6 mo old, a 18 mo old, a 2 year old, etc. until we reach this vast age of five.

Five. It seems like such a milestone, but such a young one. As I wrote in the March Newsletter, we registered M for kindergarten this fall. Of course, T and I have been talking kindergarten up because it will be a change for her. I started thinking about the reality of walking her to school and leaving her every day, and it seems a more and more horrible prospect. I become panicked when I consider how little she knows (stranger danger, protecting oneself from bad influences, self-esteem, tying her shoes, etc.) against what the world will expect from her. She'll enter her classroom and I will have to wait outside to see the effect. This selection from The QC Report summed it up best:
Every time we let our children walk away from us, we’re practicing for the time they do it for keeps. And every time we let them go out into the world, even for a short time, some part of our brain thinks “No! Not yet! There’s no way she knows enough. I know for certain I haven’t taught him enough. Did I teach her the eyeball-gouging trick if someone tries to kidnap her? Did I get him to tolerate citrus fruit enough so he won’t die of scurvy? Did I impress upon them how unspeakably fragile I feel when I think about them doing something self-destructive? Does she know how I have never loved anyone on earth the way that I love her? Come back. Come back."
Five. I think Five is poised to break my heart. One was exciting; Two was sweet; Three was charming; Four has been hard, but Five. Five will break my heart. And it's already started. Some other mothers and I were speaking about our daughters at dance class and they warned me that Five for them has been emotional. No sooner had they said this (about a month or so ago) when it happened. Irrational, abject distress. M has been handling the no naps and our routine well until the other mothers spoke. Then, it was as if Pandora's box was opened. The other night, I was out to attend a meeting to pass our levy and when I came home, T said that she had taken umbrage to the purple curtains in her room. It would seem they were no longer "pretty." Wailing and distress ensued only to be ended with the promise that if it was still going on when Mommy arrive home....well....bad things would happen. At the time of these meltdowns, it's frustrating, but at the same time, so heartbreaking because you know that something is going on for which she doesn't have the language or emotional intelligence yet. I suspect this will begin to equalize this year.

Five. M's birthday is not all a maudlin remembrance of her life, it's also to wonder and anticipate. It's hard sometimes to have the ringside seats of parenthood not only for having to let your children go, but because the suspense is killing me.
What will she be like in kindergarten? How will it impact her? What kinds of friends will she make? Will she keep ones from preschool? I'm looking forward to walking her to school more than I can say and having the walk home be one of sharing about our days. I am grateful beyond measure to be home so that I can see her every day for a significant amount of time.

Anyway, just some preliminary thoughts on Five. Can you imagine what a basket case I'll be at Six? *grin*

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Funny, you posted this and I read it today. As of this moment, Devon is on a chartered bus with the honors choir to CMU for the State Choir Festival. I was thinking last night I'm letting her go by herself at least two hours away with people I really don't know well at all (teachers, etc) to a college campus. This morning I beat myself up because I didn't remind her to 'stay with the group'. (As if she would really go off by herself...but you never know...) I can only hope that she remembers what we've taught her. This is just one more step that she's taking getting ready for the big one. Yes, I can't believe she's almost 12 and a short 6 years from now will be graduating from high school and basically leaving our home for good. As basket cases go, I'm right there with you. KL

chicagoRED said...

I wouldn't let my mom walk me to the bus stop on my first day of "real" school. I made her stand at the end of the driveway. I was determined to be independent. I think my mom's feelings are still hurt... ;)