I have thought long and hard about this post. I have written parts, deleted them and rewritten time and time again. Why? Because this blog, ultimately, is for you and your brother to look back on and read about what you were like growing up – if you want to that is!
Therefore, this post is going to be an honest account of how you are now.
Last year, I wrote about you turning four and I gushed over you and spoke of how you fixed my broken little family and brought and end to the heartache that lingered from losing Dad and Grandma. That, my dear, remains true. You are all we have ever wanted and in the moments that your possessive yells filled the birthing room on the 29th October 2011, I knew that I would lay down my life for you in a heartbeat. I was now a Mum and that was irrevocable – I would always be your Mum and there was no going back. My life was no longer about me anymore and despite declaring before your birth that being a parent would not define me, I am proud to say it does and it always will. I am yours until the day I take my final breath.
You’re five. I must have blinked. I can see the young lady that you are becoming and if I am being honest, sometimes I worry. The little girl who runs into my bedroom each morning still half asleep needs a little direction and, perhaps, a sterner hand. Every morning I ask for a cuddle and most mornings I am denied. Perhaps it’s because you still in the clutches of sleep, perhaps it’s because you can see the iPad on the bedside table over my left shoulder or perhaps hugging is not the done thing for a five year old. And it is this awareness that I am a little afraid of because there is no doubt in my mind that you are fully aware of when you are being naughty, unkind or disrespectful and it is these qualities that I must change in you.
Now, I fully understand that with every child there will be some mischief – it is what makes life fun sometimes and it can liven up our personality, but being unkind is a quality I will not allow.
“Daddy, kick Mummy,” you say. Or, “Zachy, climb on the table,” or “jump from that chair.” You know that this is wrong, so why do it? Do you really want to see your brother jump and hurt himself? No, don’t answer that question because I fear the answer. I reprimand you of course, and so does your Dad. Only a few weeks ago, I returned home from work to see you in floods of tears on the bottom of the stairs.
“I’m on the thinking step!” you yelled as I walked in and without thinking, I scooped you up and wiped away your tears.
The sky falls when you cry and my instincts kick in and I strain to hold it up for you. If I were being a good parent or a strong parent, I would have left you there to think about what you had done, which as it turned out, was to tell Grandma to leave as soon as your Dad arrived home. What you did was rude. Grandma had picked you up from school, brought you home and taken care of you whilst we worked and you told her to leave. I too have been on the receiving end of this when, last week, you told me to leave and physically tried to push me out of the door when you were staying at Grandma’s. In this life, you must always be considerate of other people’s feelings, but in that moment you weren’t – you were kicking your mum out of her mum’s house! You have come home upset on a number of occasions when children haven’t let you play with them, but, my dear, you reap what you sow. Being kind might not make you powerful; it might not get you that dream job you want when you’re older, but it will make you loved and a world without love is not a world at all – I imagine it’s lonely and desolate, two feelings I don’t want you to ever experience. Therefore, always be kind.
I miss my two year old girl, the one who gave the tightest hugs; I miss my three year old girl, the one who was preparing to become a big sister and was so excited about it and I am certain to miss my four year old, the one who, in her first week of full time school, was so amazing that her teacher stopped in her car in the middle of a busy road to tell me just how awesome you had been at school that week. Dropping you off on your first day at school, I admit that I got a little emotional and had to leave before a tear fell. You were with a friend though, so I knew you were going to be fine and by ‘eck, you were totally fine. By the end of the week, you were a firm fixture at Art Club, lost both your jumper and cardigan and spoke incessantly about your new friends. Recently, I met with your teacher; she spoke highly of you and your incredible imagination, but she mentioned that sometimes you forget when it’s time to work and when it’s time to play. Don’t misunderstand me, having fun whilst working is extremely important. My colleagues are a constant form of entertainment and I love how they make me laugh, but I know when it’s time to be serious too. You tell me you love learning – so learn and never lose your thirst for it because it keeps you humble.
You tell the worst jokes. But, that makes them the best:
“Why did the chicken cross the road?”
“I don’t know,”
“To do a poo.”
“Cattio needs the toilet.”
Seriously, what does that even mean?
You’re funny. What a wonderful quality to have. Not only do you tell the worst jokes in the world, you dance like no one is watching (often with you bum out after a bath), you sing songs into Mummy’s Snap Chat, which she then shares with the two people she has added (yeah, sorry about that) and you tell the most random stories that often include the words ‘poo’ ‘bum’ ‘stinky’ or, if we are really lucky, all three. Always en-devour to make people laugh just please just don’t do it sitting in an exam hall when you are about to sit a GCSE exam – especially not your English ones.
You’re learning to be a good sister. This week, during half term, I have watched you look after your brother and ask him for cuddles. I have been marking a lot and kept a watchful eye on you both from behind my books on the table. There was one moment when I looked up to see you standing on your desk and your brother standing on the chair; you both were looking straight at me with fixed grins. Afraid of any sudden movements, (in case you both jumped at the same time and I would have to choose who to save) I slowly put down my red pen and edged towards you both. Through gritted teeth and a fake smile – so not to cause panic – I asked you to sit. You obliged and so did your brother because he looks up to you. In everything you do in life, always set a good example.
Your final lesson is something I cannot teach you because I don’t think it is anything I have achieved. It’s also not a lesson as such, but an accumulation of all of the above qualities. I feel that if you achieve the above, then this should just fall into place. I want you to dream big. Don’t put a cap on what you think you can do with your life. Too many times I have told myself that I can’t do something and too many times I have failed, given up and never tried again. Seek out adventure, find your passion and do what you love. Don’t settle; do what makes you happy. If travelling the globe makes you happy, do it. If falling in love with your childhood sweetheart and starting your own family makes you happy, do it. And, if you ever find yourself in a situation that you don’t think would make your Mum and Dad happy or proud, tell us (as just not being afraid to tell us would make us happy) because you might be surprised. Ultimately, it’s your life and as your parents, we can only offer you guidance. At thirty-five, my mum still guides me, offers me advice (and still washes my wools) so don’t ever be afraid to ask for help if help is what you need to achieve your dream and be happy. Dream big, but don’t take life for granted – you only get one.
You can’t wait to be five.
Well kid, here it is.
Enjoy it and kick the ass out of being five.