This weekend is my daughter’s birthday party. She turns five on April 9th.
April 9th is the same day we will register for kindergarten.
She’s also had a growth spurt and is now wearing size 6 little girl’s pants. Her 5T pants are too short. Her 5T bathing suit is too tight. 5T is the biggest size in the baby department, so we can no longer shop there. I will no longer get to look at the teeny tiny little clothes that I am sure she was JUST wearing. Now I’m trying to find little kid clothes in a sea of ‘tween clothes—something appropriate for a little girl who still loves little kid things.
Where did the time go? When did my baby grow up? Who allowed this?
It’s hard to imagine that five years ago today, I was blissfully unaware of how shortly I was going to have a baby in my arms. She came via an emergency induction four and a half weeks early. She was a good size for a preemie, at 6 lbs 2 oz, but at a tiny 18 inches long, newborn clothes swallowed her. For years, clothes swallowed her, and she always wore at least a size behind where she should have been. Now, she’s wearing a size ahead.
Now, she’s too big for the baby department.
I have a huge sense of pride in her—this little girl is a light in my life. She’s intelligent, articulate, caring, and loving. She’s friendly to everyone, with a huge, tender heart. But then there is an overwhelming sense of sadness, too. All of our baby milestones are met. All of our toddler and preschool milestones are met. I repeatedly am told, “I can do it myself! I’m a big girl!” She needs me less and less, and it breaks my heart. What will I do when she can make her own grilled cheese sandwiches?
We co-sleep, and she’s still in our bed. She cuddles me at night, saying her favorite place to sleep is in my arms. Because she’s so independent during the day, I struggle with the idea of moving her to her own bed. But because she’s growing up, and because we are talking about adding to our family, I have to get it together and move her to her own bed soon. I also have a hard time refusing her requests to sit with her and watch television—even if dinner has to be cooked or laundry needs to be put away. These days are fleeting, and I know it.
I can’t stop time. I admittedly dread the preteen and teen years. Lily is already sassy so I can’t imagine what I’m up against when hormones come into play. I wish I could freeze things the way they are now. But at the same time, I really am excited to see the person Lily is growing into. I hope and pray I’m around to see her succeed in life.
For now, in spite of the tears I will inevitably shed on April 9th, as we start a new chapter in her life and close the door on the baby, toddler, and preschool stages, I will enjoy my five year old. I will love every minute of this year—watching her grow and fully experience life.