the one about the kid

It seems like just a minute ago I was writing this about your fourth birthday.

And now, you have the nerve to turn five? FIVE.

Five years old means you are a legitimate KID. There's no baby left in you. You're 100% scrapes and bruises and marker smudges and peanut butter jelly face and strange outfit combinations out the wazoo.


As parents, we often say so passively, "It will be great when she can do this on her own," or "I can't wait until we don't have to do this anymore," or "It will be awesome when she's a little older…"

And the reality is that those are ALL lies.

In fact, I am terrified of the day when I am no longer "needed" by you or your sisters. When you literally can only view me as an accessory versus a staple item. When all of the life-sustaining actions, you can do on your own. What will I do then?

Turning FIVE is the first big leap to independence.

Turning five means Kindergarten. You'll spend the bulk of your waking hours away from me. You'll learn all kinds of new things…like how to read (well, you already kind of do that) and count money. And if you can read and count money, you can do a lot of things on your own.

Turning five means shoe tying. You'll say "Velcro is for babies," and we will be off to Target to buy you shoes with laces. And you'll tie them. And then, with your knowledge of reading and counting money, and with your brand new shoes with laces, you'll surely move out and get a job.

It just seems like that's what you'll do.

Turning five means being tall enough to ride the scary fast things at the fair and ordering for yourself at restaurants and officially never needing my help in the bathroom again.

How can my baby possibly be ready for all of these milestones?

I was born ready, Mama.

I can hear you say it.

And I believe that you were.

I must confess that this time last year, I was secretly and not-so-secretly praying that turning four would be the magical golden ticket to a less dramatic, easier-going child. Three was a difficult age with you (and a lot of others judging by what I see).

I secretly and not-so-secretly hoped that four would be the age where you would become less opinionated. Less roller-coastery (yes, that's a word). A little more sugar and a little less spice.

While the timeouts lessened and the tantrums waned, the spunk and the sass and the spice and the, well, sparkle? remained constant.

And thank God for that.

So this year, I'm not praying for a magical golden ticket.

I'm not praying for a change in you.

I'm praying for a change in me.

Let me embrace all that comes with a spirited, strong-willed, super awesome five year old.

Let me waste no more energy trying to "fix" you. You're not broken.

Let me come to understand all of your quirks and grooves.

Let me step out of your way as you find more independence.

and when, not if, you need me…

I'll be here.

I love you more than I ever thought possible.

Happy birthday, Kid.

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