I don’t know about you, but when I turned thirty it seemed like the very next day my body ached and I seemed more tired than usual. It could have been a hangover, but I think it was my body just being an asshole and reminding me that I was getting older. In that same sense, it’s hitting me really hard that Hayden is five. In just a few months, she’ll start school. Our day to day is going to drastically change and she’s going to be completely immersed in a world that doesn’t involve me. I’m silently freaking out. But I’ll get to that in a minute. First up, her birthday! We started the day with sunshine and dancing to her girl, T Swift.
Dancing with these two is one of my very favorites. They both groove and shake it like nobody’s business and dance parties are the absolute BEST way to lift any mood. They happen often at our house.
We did the finishing touches with her party decor and I got the food prepped while Reid napped. Tip of the day: using a small fitted sheet as a tablecloth was GOLD! I bought a cute one at a thrift store for a couple bucks. It stayed on the table for two days while the kids ate, and spilled, drank tea and juice and spilled some more. They colored and glued and brushed out the hair on her new dolls, and at the end of it all, I shook it out and threw it in the wash. Whether or not it got destroyed I would have only been out a couple bucks and didn’t ruin a nice tablecloth.
Her friends showed up and we had tea and sandwiches. Cookies and cake. She had a blast pouring her friends tea, and all while they giggled and goofed and pretend played.
She opened presents and was spoiled with clothes and puzzles and nail polish. Dolls and Shopkins. Play D’oh and singing cards. They got goodie bags filled with bubbles, and crayons. Magic wands and sticky frogs. Suckers and stickers. They chased each other around and did puzzles. Ate more snacks and took silly pictures.
A few of the girls stayed for a sleepover and the night was filled with musical chairs, pizza, dress up, a Chipmunks movie, popcorn and candy and finally having friends to sleep in her teepee in the living room. I think I had just as much fun as she did.
Now moving on to all those feelings. Hayden has been asking for months about going to school. She was unable to attend preschool this year, it’s a long story, so that meant she wouldn’t get to enjoy the school life until Kindergarten. Enrolling her in preschool this year would have meant that we could get her adjusted to a school schedule slowly. Waking up, brushing teeth, eating breakfast and getting dressed. All in a timely manner. Learning to focus a little better in a group setting. Being respectful and listening to her teacher when tasks are being asked of her. Not interrupting 47 times during a book reading. Just a couple things we are working on at home that are going to come into play once she starts school. But what scares me the most is her innocence. She is perfectly naive. She’s not interested in boys or having tons of friends. She has her own sense of style and isn’t phased about looking like everyone else. She’s goofy and silly and completely oblivious to kids thinking she’s dorky. She laughs at her own jokes and likes to eat her food in really strange combos. Ex: a blueberry bagel with peanut butter and Doritos on top
I notice it more now that all her neighborhood friends have started school. They talk differently and are interested in things that I personally feel aren’t appropriate for their age. She’s clueless to the fact that she’s unique and different and as a mother I am overwhelmingly scared that her personality is going to get eaten up by school kids. We’ve done our best in the past five years to teach her to be kind and generous. To be honest and respectful. Without “throwing your kid in the deep”, how do you teach resilience? How do you find the balance of teaching them to have strength and courage while shielding their little minds from the unjust in the world? I’m dreading the days of her coming home in tears because she was made fun of or because someone doesn’t want to be her friend. That she can’t read as well as the other kids or she doesn’t run as fast. Things that might seem so small, but to a five year old are a big deal and can be hard to understand. If I don’t handle the tiny hardships right, I’m faced with the fear I’ll set her up for failure when she comes to head with something that’s genuinely difficult. There isn’t anything I can do besides letting her go and allowing her to face the world and figure out a path of her own. I have to have faith that we’ve raised her to have a good head on her shoulders and make good choices. Allow myself to let go of the reigns and remain in the background to provide her with guidance, support and love when she needs it.
I can’t be there with her and her friends and tell them that they are saying things that are inappropriate. I can’t be there to comfort her when she gets her feelings hurt. I’m not going to be the one to calm her down when she doesn’t understand something and is disappointed and frustrated. I’m not there to remind her that we don’t lift up our dresses and show people our underwear because you didn’t have to wear leggings and your “legs are free today.” There were so many times I imagined when she would start school and I have would have all this free time again. Now all I want to do is spend all my time with her and keep her in a bubble with me to soak in everything that’s wonderful about her. The saying of , having a child is deciding to have your heart go walking around outside your body, has never felt more truer than now. This coming fall we will both be faced with a new challenge. Hayden will start a new chapter of growing up and I’ll be doing my best to not completely fall apart when she walks out that door. Some of you may read this and think I’m being dramatic and over reacting….. Andy. 🙂 But I’m just a mama who wants her sweet little girl to stay just that. A sweet little girl.
On a brighter note, it’s beginning to look a lot like spring around here! The snow and ice are melting and in just two short weeks we will be on a plane heading to Idaho to spend a couple weeks with our family and friends. The sunshine and the longer days have us all excited and for now, that’s all that really matters.