Now We Are Six
The days are long, but the years are short. My sister told me that early on and I think of it often because it is so true. How does a year fly by and yet the hours slow down to a crawl?
The days of wiping bums and sharing beds are almost over for me as my youngest turns four. My nine-year old only hold hands occasionally (but it's lovely when he does).
And my 6-year old is in Grade One. First grade seems to be the line between little kiddom and real kids.
The importance of peers starts to take over at the age of six. As awareness of the outside world creeps in, he is less apt to do silly things like dancing in the middle of the sidewalk or wear his Batman costume to school. But the good news is that separation issues are a thing of the past, as he loves to go to friends houses and on sleepovers.
Of course, the downside of an increased interest in peers is a definite increase in sarcasm and mouthiness. We were shocked by this the first time round with Aaron but now we ignore it. But I do mourn the passing of my sweet preschooler. He is still sweet, but but he is emerging from the world of fantasy into the real world with the weight of knowledge that life is not as perfect as he once imagined it.
Child development specialists say that a child's personality is formed during the first five years. I wonder, did we do everything we could? Did he have positive experiences that will sustain him during the rough times? Did we do enough so that he will have good memories?
If this "bucket list" has all the elements of a happy childhood in it, then I can feel confident (except for camping, we are just not camping people). But in the meantime my 6-year old is learning to fight his own battles and how to negotiate that tricky terrain between little and big kid. I am sorry to say goodbye to the little Sam -- to his little peculiarities, cute sayings, and chubby hands. If I could I would freeze him at the age of five, but I am excited to see what the next stage holds for him, and for us.
This was one of the first poems I ever memorised and I read it to Sam, whenever he will let me:
When We Are Six by A.A. Milne (yes, the guy who wrote Winnie the Pooh)
When I was one, I had just begun.
When I was two, I was nearly new.
When I was three, I was hardly me.
When I was four, I was not much more.
When I was five, I was just alive.
But now I am six, I’m as clever as clever.
So I think I’ll be six now for ever and ever.