I can't believe it. A year ago at this time, I was thinking that the preceding year hadn't really netted any major milestones met, no major happenings to report, nothing I could really put my finger on and pinpoint, no "these-are-the-amazing-things-that-happened-this-year" things. It was a pretty ordinary year, during which we did pretty ordinary stuff. She was completing her final year of preschool, and while we were thrilled at how well she transitioned to 2 days a week of full-day private preschool in addition to 3 days a week of half-day public Special Education preschool, and how well she made "typical" friends, it was all still pretty regular stuff.
This year, that is definitely not the case.
I've been bowled over by what 5 has brought (the first 3 are more our own personal "letting-go" milestones):
- The elimination of pull-ups at night (they were already eliminated for daytime) started two weeks before her 5th birthday.
- The removal of her bedrail, and the child-proof door handle in her room (we finally let go and realized that she's not a wanderer, plus she'd certainly need to be able to get to the bathroom if necessary!).
- The end of the audio baby-monitor. Several months ago it just stopped working. Which was fine with us.
- Reading!!!! And not just reading books at her age-level, but reading, voraciously, just about anything she can get her hands on, including 2nd grade-level books. I've posted about this before, but my dream was that she'd be reading by the time she got to Kindergarten. She was, a little bit, but for some reason, by the 3rd week of school, something just clicked and she began to read, naturally, unhindered.
- Writing!!!! She has beautiful (to me, at least) handwriting, and is now responsible for writing out her own birthday/thank you/Valentines/whatever cards (with verbal prompts to help with spelling).
- Picking up a few chores here and there. Ask her to feed the cats? Set the table? Clean up her room? You got it!
- And so many more.
But it's bittersweet, really. I was sad when she turned 5 because it was such a huge moment of growing up. For me, and for her. My baby was no longer a baby. Now, I feel trepidation towards 6 because of what the number itself means. Well, what it means to me, anyway. While Samantha is still 5, I can say, when someone asks, "Oh, she's 5."
Like it's an excuse.
Oh, how awkward I feel for saying that, but it lives in a little box in the back of my mind. Yes, my child comes across as younger than she is. So five is a convenient explanation. And, on the flip side of the coin, my child, academically, is pretty amazing, surpassing many of her typical peers in a lot of things (I only say that to make the point in the next sentence). So five is used to boost that. The expectation at five is that she shouldn't be able to do those things, and saying, "Oh, she's five!" sounds super-impressive. The expectation at six is that she should, and the number is no longer a source of marvel.
Yes, it's just a number.
Yes, I'm being a tad bit ridiculous.
Yes, I'm incredibly proud of everything she does, regardless of age!
And no, I cannot believe she's almost 6 already...my big girl. How time flies. How amazed I am at her, each and every day, and all that she's taught me about oh, so many things. How much I treasure every minute I get to spend with her, looking at her, marveling at this beautiful creation we brought into the world nearly 6 years ago.