There are ages in life that just seem like bigger milestones than others to me. When they turn one it signifies you no longer have a baby, now you have a toddler. Five, the age your child is officially a “kid” they all of the sudden lose that pre-school and toddler face. It seems like overnight there is a completely different child standing before you. Ten, double digits. It seems like such a change to go from nine to ten. Thirteen! Bah, let’s stop there.
My darling Little Miss Psychopath has turned five. It actually looks quite entertaining to have darling and Little Miss Psychopath in the same sentence hahaha. But she is a darling some of the time. Back on point, she’s now a five year old. As a toddler mom to this crazy, strong-willed exhausting girl, I couldn’t wait to have her start full-time school, see “can me play with my play-doh mom?” for some of those toddler adventures. I looked at my friends with all their children in school with green envy in my eyes. Free most days to work, keep up with their house or go for coffee with girlfriends. I thought that’s what I wanted, but I was wrong.
Last year when I realized I only had one more year with this sweet, hilarious and totally crazy child, something changed. I no longer wanted that freedom. I realized that I don’t need those things, I’m totally content to stay at home with this beautiful last child of mine. She gives me everything I need. She keeps me busy, she makes me laugh and when it’s time, she snuggles up in bed with me for a movie. We have hundreds of bad days of course, but those good days are oh SO good.
Unfortunately, as much as we want to with each child, we can’t stop the growth. They physically grow and change. Even a disabled child like Little Miss Psychopath grows. She’s definitely a five-year-old. I remember wondering at one point in her life if she would continue to progress and grow. She has astounded us. Which brings me tears of joy, but also tears of sadness. As a mother to disabled children, there’s secretly always a part of me that wants them to always need me. The need is so intense for so long with special needs kids. You feel like it will never change, you will always be a special needs mother with a “child” that requires your care.
If it does change, it’s glorious of course, to see your child progress and do things they were never “supposed” to do. But at the same time, it creates this little void each time they need you less. You have to fill it with who you are, which can be really hard as a mom. Especially if a mom is all you’ve been for what seems like an endless span of time.
Five comes anyway
Despite all of this, my last baby turned five anyway. A few weeks before she turned five, I was saying my goodnights to her, I caught this glimpse of a big kid. I turned away for a moment and when I turned back that big kid was there to stay. I swear it happened in a moment. She was my pre-schooler one minute, and then that was gone. In the place where there was once a chubby-cheeked, curly-haired, mischevious face, there was a different face now. A thinner face with a wider smile, straighter thicker hair and a look of maturity rather than mischief.
I still once in a while get to see a small glimpse of that pre-school face I love so much. A smile spreads wide on my face and I try to lock it into my memory. I love this new face just a much, it just means saying goodbye to a part of our life together that I’m quite ready to end. It ends whether I want it to or not, so I’m trying to enjoy each moment. I try to soak up every single drop of what we have now like it’s oxygen to my lungs. Soon though, it will be over, and I’m left wondering, how will I ever breathe.