Hello, 6

“Go and wake up your luck”

-Persian Proverb

Dear Mia,

As of 10:32 this morning, you are 6.

Mia portrait collage

This is how it happens, I know, the days of the year circling back to this one when I first held my heart outside my body. I watched you squirm and scream, red-faced and mad, until you were in my arms. Suddenly, you stopped and settled and I thought,

Lucky me,

          Lucky me,

                    Lucky me.

I could go on like this, waxing nostalgic about beating hearts and secret languages and umbilical chords that are never truly cut, but today you are 6 and yesterday was not such a good day.

“I don’t have a switch you can turn on to make me nice.”

Arms crossed, back hunched, tears pooling at the rims of blue eyes.

Hello, 6.

Mia, 6

The thing about mothering is this: I thought I would have all the answers by now. I thought I would be a seasoned pro by the time 6 rolled around. I thought I would be an authority, a veteran. Turns out, I’m still winging it because the moment you were born so too was I. The mother in me turns 6 today too.

For the past few weeks I have felt this day fast approaching, leaving me untethered and wandering, watching you race ahead to 6 while I say my final goodbyes to 5. The very same 5 with which I had just recently made amends.

Mia, 6

I think 5 might be my favorite age, full of intellectual growth and independence – an ability to converse and interact in a way that you couldn’t before. Last week you wrote personal notes to all the girls in your class that said things like, “I love your eyes that are brown,” and “You been a good friend to me,” and “I just love your hare.” I find rainbow colored hearts tucked into your backpack, all labeled Mommy. You bring paperwork home with stories and scribbles doodled on the back. Rather than playing with toys, you invest yourself in writing picture books and illustrating fashion books.

You are lucky to be one of those people who wishes to build sand castles with words, who is willing to create a place where your imagination can wander…I think this is a wonderful kind of person to be.”   ~Anne Lamott

Sometimes when you need a break from the noise and raucous of your brothers I find you curled on your bed reading (reading!) a chapter book (by yourself!). As awe-inspiring as it is to bear witness to this growth, it comes with a bittersweet realization: You will never be 5 again.

Mia, 6

It used to be that I had to lay in bed with you until you fell asleep. Now I choose to stay. It’s in the dark of your room — tucked under the covers, breath and stillness between us — that you tell me scraps and snippets of your day, things you don’t say in the light.

“I like morning better than night.”

“Why?”

“Because I’m afraid of the dark sky.”

You ask me if vampires are real and how do I know and what are vampires anyway. You ask us if we believe in God and how do we know. You ask if I will die and leave you and how do I know.

Mia, 6“Go and wake up your luck.”

I don’t remember the first time I heard this quote, but these are the words that find me when I climb the stairs to wake you up every morning before school. And now as I’m finishing up this post, I look at the clock and realize it’s almost time to wake you up. Once again, these quiet morning hours have flown by and I still have a million items to check off my to-do list. I swat at thoughts and worries that swarm about my head and brush away the general feeling of being overwhelmed. As I climb the stairs to wake you with kisses on your 6th birthday I’m only thinking,

Lucky me,

          Lucky me,

                    Lucky me.

I love you to the moon and back.

xo,

Mommy

This post is part of Collectively Creative, hosted by Kelly of Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons. To read more on this month’s theme, “Lucky”, check out these links:

Jell-O Shamrocks: A Kid’s Lucky Snack – (Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons)

A Lucky Save! – (Pillows A-La-Mode)

DIY Craft: ‘Stained Glass’ Shamrock – (Time With Thea)

The many meanings of “lucky” – (The Thing About Joan)

This Party Calls For A Theme:  It’s All Rainbows and Unicorns – (Green Door Hospitality)

Keep Calm and Pinch On – (A Ponytail Kind Of Day)

Honorary Irish and my favorite Irish Soda Bread – (My Healthy ‘Ohana)

Luck o’the Irish for Easter!  – (Minerva’s Hand)

Lucky Gold Elephant – (Now at Home Mom)

Make your own luck (using a crochet hook) – (Gentle Stitches)

Asian Cucumber Salad – (Inspire and Indulge)

The Lucky Edition Logo March 2013

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164 thoughts on “Hello, 6

  1. Kerry Leese says:

    How absolutely gorgeous. It’s so lovely to read such a heart felt story of what it is to be a parent!

    My mum’s been a parent for 27 years and it must be so weird for her to see me now. Your daughter sounds like a great person of whom the world needs more!

  2. omchakrasauras says:

    The great joys and simplicities of being a child. Children have curiosity, enthusiasm and a genuine love for life with exploration-I think it’s unfortunate that many lose these important characteristics as they grow up-Adults should have them too.

    • Lara says:

      I completely agree. I’m trying with all my might to help my daughter hold onto these qualities. Unfortunately, I think societal influences are stronger forces than me. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. NouveauSoileau says:

    When I was 6, my dad taught me this poem. I’ve taught it to each of my children, too.

    Now We Are Six

    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 and forever.

    — A.A. Milne

    • Lara says:

      You know, I thought about including this poem somehow but then I just forgot. (Read my latest post and you’ll know why.) I love A.A. Milne! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  4. cookie1986 says:

    This is just beautiful. It captures the feeling we all have as mothers, I think. I cringe when I think of my toddler growing up to be a woman. I can’t count how many times I’ve said to my husband that I wish I could freeze her at this age. It’s the perfect age and my favourite so far.
    Maybe its because she’ll be my favourite no matter where she is.

    • Lara says:

      So true. 🙂 It’s so hard to say goodbye to every age because they all become my favorite. I remember conveying the same thought to my mom when my daughter was littler — I just wanted to stop time and marvel at her before she got any bigger — but she told me that I will love whatever phase we’re going through, and so far I have. Thanks for commenting, otherwise I might not have found your blog!

  5. sportsandthecross says:

    Wow, wonderful post. Motherhood really makes a scholar of women I believe. You see and learned so much about people becuase you watch life unfold before you. Again, great post thanks for sharing and congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  6. jennyproctor says:

    This is a beautiful post. You know, it’s funny. I have six kids. My oldest is 12, my youngest just 1. I have moments where I feel pretty sure of myself, where I think I’ve got this mothering thing figured out, and then one of the six will throw me a curve ball, and I’ll stand there, watching the ball rolling further and further away wondering what in hell I’m doing and how I’m ever going to figure things out.

    It is a brilliant gift to figure out that it’s okay to tell you children that you are figuring out how to be a Mom, just like they are figuring out how to be a kid.

    Thanks for expressing yourself so well, for capturing how so many of us feel as parents.

  7. sierravbrock says:

    I”m not a mother. I hope to be one day and I work with kids 5 days a week. I love your thoughts on Hello 6, very touching. This post really was a highlight of my evening.

  8. njurak says:

    I have a Mia. She is now 21. When she was 6 she was special…reading, writing, snatching moments of solace and so concerned about people and animals. She will be a doctor soon and is still so very special.

  9. BurlapandBoots says:

    Love it. I find as each birthday passes I celebrate my daughter’s growth but grieve the year that has passed. It is one of those things nobody ever tells you about. I too have spent many nights in my daughters bed, staring up at the plastic stars pressed to her ceiling. Talking, sharing, listening to her sweet words, dreams, thoughts. She is now 13, a teenager and I so enjoy this new phase, but am saddened at the same time. I am thoughtful though as I know that each new year that passes will bring joy and new experiences for her…and me.

    • belindambrock says:

      Your post is beautiful and touching; while I loved learning about your little girl and your relationship, I was flooded with memories of my own daughter growing up. The two of us would always have lunch the day before her birthday to honor the year that she was leaving behind, and I would sing the song I had made up to mark this occasion (i.e. “Good-bye 5…). Also perceptive, loving and verbal, she is now 28 and a clinical psychologist. And now the mother in me is learning how to parent adult children.

      • Lara says:

        What a special tradition. My mom also talks about parenting adult children, and I’m sure it brings new fears and worries and challenges. Thanks so much for stopping by.

        • belindambrock says:

          By the way, I also loved your review of Kiki and Coco in Paris. It happens that I had included that book in a post I wrote about children’s books set in France for my blog.

    • Lara says:

      It is so true that no one ever discusses this aspect of parenting (maybe it’s just mothers who feel this way?). I’m happy to hear that you’re enjoying 13. That’s an age that scares me so you’ve given me hope. 🙂

  10. pennypinchingpeach says:

    That is absolutely beautifully written, and I can relate to it so much! My daughter is only three, but she changes so much. I love the writing and the photos…it’s all great. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Lara says:

      Thanks so much! Three is a fun age. Challenging at first but then they start to grow into their own and you can communicate with them so much more. Thanks for stopping by!

  11. SideShowShannon says:

    I love that every stage in our children’s life is a journey for the both of us. Mine is almost 9 months old, and when I think I get something down, he surprises me with something new. I can’t wait to experience all of these years, and write about it. Great post!

  12. Kristin says:

    Hi Lara,

    Oh my, love love this line–“Turns out, I’m still winging it because the moment you were born so too was I.” I’m not a mom yet, but my heart aches to be and I felt this sentence resonate from deep within. So glad to find your blog from Instagram. I’m a teacher in Indianapolis and a writer too, just maybe not a constantly practicing one. 😉 I’d love to talk about the publishing world someday (just had a tiny taste, as I was recently a contributor to an educational narrative published through NCTE). I’ve always thought I’d like to work for a magazine. Oh, dreams! Looking forward to digging into your blog! 🙂

    Kristin
    bundlesofbliss on IG

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