Last night I was massaging your feet before bed and I marveled to notice that your feet are the exact same size of my hands now. You are 6. In that moment, I experienced this strange feeling, that as a parent I seem to have often, of living deeply in a moment yet also feeling nostalgia for that same moment. I’m not interested in going back to the days in which you were a baby, for every day gets better and better, but there’s a sharp sting to how fast and how bittersweet it all is. These are the moments that I find so full of love my heart may burst, but also so full of bewilderment and awe at the very nature of life itself.
Then my reverie is broken because you and your brother start to fight, again.
When I finally get you both settled into bed for our nightly ritual of stories, I am again brought to my knees because you are now requesting to read to me. While you are not yet a fluent reader, every day I am astounded by more words that you know and your enthusiasm for books and the written word. This has remained a constant—you have been obsessed with books since a baby and you can easily spend loads of time pouring over them. The morning after getting new books from the library, you often wake early and rush downstairs just to get extra time looking at them before school. I hope you have found lifelong companions in books, my love, for they have held such a place of joy in your mama’s life, too.
Today, when I picked you up in the car, you told me that you had an awesome day at school. And later you shared how good life will be when you are old, “like 12” when you can play on the bigger playground and when you will keep your lego sets together like models (not like now when self-restraint is limited and they are undone and reconfigured just moments after they have been built to spec).
Thus far, you have never met a stranger. You eagerly approach and talk to people. At a restaurant the other day, you saw two boys your age at another table and went to introduce yourself and share your Lego book with them. You are friendly beyond compare, though still sometimes challenged with how to contain all your boisterous energy and excitement.
You have been six for 2 months now. I have seen such growth in you this past year, becoming more independent, grappling with (at first) and then rocking kindergarten, and working so very hard to achieve and master so many skills. You are best friends with Eli. Of course you have your moments of bickering and crashing and smashing, but you really do look out for him and he idolizes you in return. We are working hard as a family to put structure and routine in place, to share expectations and hold everyone accountable. You both have taken to this new system so well, and life feels more spacious, more manageable and way more fun.
I can’t wait to watch you continue to grow my little man. Words can’t really describe what it’s like to be your mom, but when I look at you I feel proud, amazed and blessed. Six (your favorite number) is a year for the record books, for sure.