The other night, as our youngest two played in the bath, my husband motioned to me to go look in our six year old’s room. As I approached the door, I could see that it was partially closed and I could hear Taylor Swift booming from her MP3 player. Without disturbing her, I peeked through the small crack in the door and could see that she was lying on the ground. I stood there for a few minutes watching her feet move to the music and listening to her happily singing along. My heart smiled.
A few days earlier she and I had talked about the docking station and MP3 player that Santa had brought this year. She had been hosting a lot of dance parties in her room and was feeling a little frustrated because her younger brother and sister always wanted to hear the same songs and would get mad if she switched them. For the first time, I found myself telling her that her room was her space. We chatted about what an amazing big sister she is and how proud we are of her for how she shares and plays and helps with her siblings. At the same time, I wanted her to understand that there will be times when she wants moments to herself to listen to music (or read or draw) and that it’s okay to want that and even more okay to take that time for herself.
After that conversation I thought a lot about how she’s moving into a different stage in her life. Lately she’s started reading stories to her siblings and sometimes translating them as she reads (she’s in French school). She’s getting her own snacks now and doesn’t need me to help with glasses of milk or peeling fruit. She likes to talk about our days and spends as much time asking me questions about mine as I do asking about hers. She’s becoming a little more interested in style – commenting on shirts or shoes that she sees and likes. Her brain is even starting to think differently. After my Dad’s car was recently stolen from his condo’s parking garage, she immediately started coming up with ideas as to how we could fundraise to get him a new car.
And now, she’s obviously enjoying time on her own listening to music
What I’ve realized over the past few weeks is that with our younger kids, the transitions from stage to stage are more obvious. Liquids to solids. Crawling to walking. Babbling to talking. Diapers to underwear. Scribbling to drawing. Singing ABCs to writing ABCs. After reading and writing for our oldest, it seems to be more subtle differences. Her interests are changing, she’s starting to talk about different things and she’s beginning to process information about the world around her differently.
In the end though, she’s still six and embodies everything wonderful and carefree that is six. These snapshots of the bigger kid to come leave me feeling excited about the future and also a little melancholy. My baby – the perfect little bundle who stole my heart when she first wrapped her little finger around mine – is growing up.
Deanna is a Mom of three, wife, marketer and blogger – lover of travel, morning coffee, family time, belly laughs, good friends and uninterrupted showers! Follow her on twitter @DeannaCMiller
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