My Story turned seven this weekend. We had a lovely get-together with family and friends who are considered family. No special decorations, games, or scripts. No lavish presents or gestures. Just a simple day with lots of love and laughter. Oh, and this cake (thanks again for the idea, Ali!):
After the guests left and the sugar and present excitement crashed into happy exhaustion, I reflected on Year 6, a good great year.
- Year 6 is a world of difference away from Year 5. The word kid with all its connotations fits much better than the word child.
- I now believe in the reading switch. I was so worried about Story’s ability to read, but many consoled me with tales of a mysterious switch that, when flipped, suddenly rendered an explosion of literacy. Come to find out, they weren’t just being kind and telling me a fairytale to assuage my fears. I get it now. It’s magic.
- Kids are now able and willing to set long-term goals, like year-long long-term goals. Story worked for an entire year to win my approval for a dog. She also threw in a little psychological warfare. “I would just love a hamster! <Begging for weeks ensues.> Oh, you really, really don’t want a rodent in your house, Mama? <BIG SIGH> Okay, I guess I could have a dog.” Welcome home, Kahlea.
- The big lesson of the year: Life is not fair. She’s sampled this lesson before, but it hit home several times. “Why can’t I watch that horror movie? So-and-so’s mom lets him.” “Little Miss has a cell phone. Why can’t I have one?” “Why can’t I walk to school by myself?” And it goes on and on.
- There is so much more independence in Year 6. From getting ready for school to making snacks when hungry, Story is on the right track to out-at-eighteen-and-able-to-take-care-of-herself. And the help around the house is so very welcome!
- The conversations are more . . . real. Not that I haven’t enjoyed talking to my daughter the first five years, but Year 6 proved to have greater depth and seriousness at conversations’ core. We discussed the election (the PG-rated version), the Olympics, body image, science, God, the possibility of the ancient existence of dragons. Her most recent choice of audiobook was Lives of the Musicians. Seriously. I’m loving this!
- She’s still into snuggles. Thank goodness. My heart won’t take the refusal of snuggles.
I thought it would be awful to see her grow and take steps away from needing me. Year 6 showed me how wrong I was. There is still magic and wonder in these later early years. Bring it on, Year 7!