Saturday was a difficult day for me. I’m going through all sorts of transitions in life and this one was no different. You see, on Friday, I spent my final hours with my sweet 5 year old and I don’t know how to feel about it. My son had his birthday on Saturday and although it was a great day for celebrating, it was a time for me to look back on how far we had come as a family.
Friday night started off like any other night, we had finished dinner and the kids were playing a game. The closer it got to bedtime the more I realized we were losing yet another 5 year old. You know what this means? This means we shop in the boys section of the store now. You know that section. The one with the big kids? Cue the loud sobs…I know you think I’m exaggerating, but I’m not. Right now, my son is the youngest in our household. Which means he is the last one to enter school. I mean, if we were sending him to school. We’re still homeschooling over here. Anyway, to end the night, my son looked at me and asked, “Hey mom, do you want your last 5 year old hug?” What?! In that moment I’m trying to figure out why he was trying to make me cry.
Once the kids were in the bed, my husband left out to go to the store and pick up gifts because we are also those parents. It gave me some time to reflect on the moments I enjoyed most this year with my son. He learned to tie his shoes and that was a big thing. I remember when he finally got the bunny ears through the hole. He was so excited. He lost two teeth and that was a bit of a shocker for me because I wasn’t expecting it until he turned 6 like his sister. Then again he has always moved at his own pace and this was no different. He was sitting on the couch one day and literally just plucked his wiggly bottom tooth out. “Look mom, my tooth came out. It didn’t hurt at all.” *huge sigh*
He discovered that he really wanted to build things for a living and I’m impressed that he has kept this dream up for so long. Just taking time to think of all the things we learned throughout the year was quite emotionally draining. It prompted me to want to hold on a little while longer to my 5 year old. Alas, midnight was upon us and I was already too late.
On Saturday, we woke him up in song, as is tradition with anyone on their birthday in our home. He didn’t look much different, but I certainly felt the difference. He didn’t immediately ask me to do anything for him. He had a huge smile on his face and he had fully stepped into his new 6 year old role. We had planned to throw him a party, but we also had a huge change come our way to which we were not able to throw it on the same weekend as his birthday. We decided to postpone the party for a later date in June and instead took him to Nickelodeon Universe at the Mall of America ( I love living in Minnesota). He spent over 5 hours riding all the rides, with dad of course because I don’t like roller coasters. I was there though. We ate lunch at the mall and even went back for more rides. It was a day to remember, the kids were so tired and delirious which is what all parents strive for on birthdays.
I recognized that day that we were starting a whole new year of him learning and doing different things and that if I were to truly enjoy them I had to let go. I had to let go of my 5 year old and embrace him now. Tears filled my eyes as they always do and my sweet boy saw his mom about fall into a puddle of tears. He came to me and said, “Don’t worry mom. I’m 6 but I’m still your son. I’m not leaving you.”
I am truly in a new season. I will no longer mourn the loss of an age. I choose to celebrate the beginning of new things with my family instead. I will miss this time, that much is true. However, I know that we have so much more to learn with each other. I may have had my final hours with a 5 year old on Friday, but I started the rest of my life with my son on Saturday. That’s a good thing.