I admit to getting a little emotional each time we have one of our children’s birthdays. I usually cry the night before, grieving another year lost of their childhoods, then rise with the sun to make a fancy breakfast for everyone to enjoy, tears falling into the pancake batter. When my firstborn turned five last year, there were a few weeks of random, unexplained crying outbursts that left my husband wondering if I needed to talk to a therapist. I didn’t talk to one. And I recovered. But something about the passing of time, marked so distinctly by my children’s birthdates, stirs up emotions inside of me that are difficult to explain.
|6 years old today|
Emotional Children’s Birthdays
Today my firstborn turns 6. I’m nearing the end of a turbulent first trimester and so my tears seem to be coming in waves this year. For the past month or so she has been reminding my husband and I that she is “5 and three-quarters.” When the dentist recently reminded my daughter that she needed to quit sucking her thumb at night before the adult teeth come in, Emilia asked me to buy her a box of princess Band-Aids.
Every night since, she has unwrapped one and put it on her sucking thumb after brushing her teeth. She has not put that thumb in her mouth even once since she implemented her own quitting policy, and that has even meant giving up her favorite blankie. Instead of holding it (which makes her want to suck her thumb, she tells us), she simply places it under her pillow. For many years I’ve half-heartedly tried to help her break the thumb-sucking habit but never with a whole lot of luck. She came up with this recent, successful plan all on her own and something about her thought process and determination has really impressed me (admittedly, I am easily impressed).
She took ownership of the task and didn’t wait for me to tell her what she should do. She’s growing up sooooo fast.
Last weekend, in a quiet twilight moment with just her on my in-law’s pool deck, I pulled her onto my lap. I wrapped my arms around her twig-like ones and told her that I didn’t care if she was 5 and three-quarters — she was going to sit on her mother’s lap for a few. She’s a sweet child and senses when it is a good time to humor her mother, so she obliged. We talked about the stars we could see and the palm branches swaying with the wind. I asked what she wanted for her birthday and she rattled off the names of a few My Little Pony items and then asked me what I wanted for mine (in a few weeks). Our short conversation reminded me that my first child, my first BABY, is becoming a confident young woman who is also compassionate and thoughtful.
So while I look forward to each new phase of my children’s lives, the birthdays hit me hard. I don’t want to revisit any of the earlier phases (especially potty training), but I’m so overwhelmed with the people they are becoming, day by day and year by year, that it reduces me to tears. Let’s just say that you will not want to be the person sitting next to me at any of their high school or college graduation ceremonies (heck, even the preschool ones are tough!). But if you can’t get emotional about the milestones in your kids’ lives, then what is there?
How about you? Do you get reminiscent on your children’s birthdays?
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Tags: 6th birthday