I could write and write and write about how incredible it is–how incredulous I am–that you are about to enter Kindergarten; how I don’t understand when you grew to be this size. It is mind-blowing.
But, instead, I am going to tell you about the snapshot from one morning. This morning, in fact, when you are five years, three months and 27 days old.
My morning started with the sound of your voice.
“Mama?” and before I could even answer, you explained to me that you were not just coming into my room for no reason (something that we do not do) but that you were, in fact, having a serious problem and needed my help immediately.
You felt itchy. You may not know this, as I tried not to let on, but those are some of the most dreaded words that a parent can hear*, especially when you describe the itchiness being in your hair. I checked you thoroughly, though I was bearly-eyed, squinting in my glasses and using the flashlight on my iPhone. Preliminary diagnosis: dry skin. I would not even say the other word. I just bit my tongue.
But once you were in, you were in. By that, I mean that you had been granted permission to be in my room, so you were not going to let me go back to sleep but, instead, start talking a mile a minute. Your brain moves so quickly. I have no idea from where or whom you got that trait.
I will be honest with you, it is hard to keep my eyes open while typing this. I am tired, sweetheart, so I will do my best.
First, you put on a show for me. You sang Katy Perry’s “Roar”, belting at full volume, followed by “Holding Out for a Hero.”
“I have a surprise for you, mama.” and you looked at me in the eyes, with those Atlantic ocean eyes of yours, and started to sing “This Will Be Our Year”. Your aim was to make me happy and you succeeded.
I told you that I love you very much.
“I don’t love you, mom,” she began. “I love you and I like you and I am obsessed with you and I adore you.”
You are amazing, sweet girl.
“Can you do me a favor? Can you go take care of your brother for a little bit?”
“Sure!”This recent enthusiasm is based solely on something that you call the Phillies Fun Mermaid Tail, but I have a feeling that you may have a heard it wrong, and it is an actual flipper-like-fin that you can wear, with whatever sparkly Mermaid cover you choose. I am almost scared to type this, because of certain audience members so let me be clear**:
(Mom and Mommom. You are NOT allowed to buy the mermaid fin!!! She has to earn it. We are teaching her values.)
So last night we stayed up together and made a list of things that we both decided that we want you to improve upon. These include things like cleaning your room, having patience and listening.
This Phillies fin is $60.00. That is real money, and we are trying to teach you about that, as well.
So, with kind behavior, help around the house, good listening, patience and a lack of “wah”-ing you can earn this fin.
You are off to a good start, as you played with you brother in his crib for a good 15 minutes, which was intended to give us a few more minutes to sleep, but, being parents, we still Googled “Lice” and obsessed together with our iPhones.
“Puzz?” asked a small voice at my door. “Can I come back in?”
I once told you that you were my missing puzzle piece, and the name has stuck.
I snuggled you up into a hug and you curled your body up so that you were enveloped in me.
“Mom?” You asked. “Sometimes when you’re really, really sad, does it actually feel like your heart is broken?”
I didn’t–don’t–have the words to answer. I think so, but I don’t know.
You amaze me. Oh the things you can think. Sometimes I think you are fifteen or fifty and not just five.
But then, you got extremely mad when I put a Sam Cooke song on instead of the Hercules Soundtrack.
Oh yeah. You’re five.
I could continue writing and writing and writing, as you are so much in one small package, but you are here, back in my room, snuggled up to me, and we have a chance to sing together, so I am going to be present with you.
I don’t know yet if you will earn your fin, but trust me, love, I would give you the world if I could. You are special, you are amazing, and I cannot believe that I get to say that you are mine.
Thank you for completing my puzzle.
*said with tongue in cheek, as this is obviously not even close to a horrible affliction. Just to clarify.
**this paragraph mysteriously italicized itself and will not un-italicize.
***featured image is what #parenthood looks like at 5am after scouring for lice. Just keepin’ it real here.