The “baby” turned five over the holidays, which officially means that he’s not a baby and I need to give up the denial before it starts to get kind of creepy. His feet are huge. His hands are ginormous, to use one of his favorite words. He’s tall enough that I have to go up a size in his clothes again and he’s almost outgrown his car seat and he’s big enough that he’s starting to out-eat most adults when we sit down to meals. Pretty soon I’m going to be surrounded by all these friendly giants that somehow came out of me but are towering over me and I’m just not ready for that. Cian, by bringing up the rear, is simply rubbing it in.
“I don’t feel five. I only feel four.”
“You’re the best mom in the world. You’re so nice to me. You give me ginormous cookies.”
“Mom? What if dinosaurs were real? And we could eat them and they lived in our house and our house was full of lava?”
He gives away kisses to us like they’re Tic-Tacs. He throws fits and whines and whines when we ask him to clean up his toys, then mutters, “Fine,” and makes good work of them all within a couple minutes. He holds our hands and didn’t like the fire scene in The Greatest Showman (“It was too ‘cary for me” he says) and is Quinlan’s absolute best friend one moment and in the next fighting with her like they’re Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men. He is smart and funny and really good at drawing T-Rexes and he somehow started writing words and sentences when we weren’t looking (well, Saoirse was. Apparently she teaches him his letters while we’re off doing other things, like ruminating on how he’s not a baby anymore). He’s still a horrible sleeper, and most nights we can find him wandering around the upstairs, looking for somebody to keep him company.
He is five. He is the youngest. And he is still teaching me that patience is love, to never underestimate the conversational abilities of the preschool set (“You KNOW what I’m saying, Mom. Can you put down your phone and answer me?”) and that, sometimes when we’re wandering around aimlessly and just looking for attention, that’s all any of us need: just a friendly face to assure us that we’re loved, that others are right here, and that we’re not alone.
David asked me this morning, “Is it wrong to think he’s special? Just look at the way he plays: that imagination. I could watch him all day.” I laughed. No, it’s not wrong to think he’s special.
Not when every day he reminds us that he is.
In the evening after the first day of school, Cian made an announcement. “I’m…
Note: I’ve been struggling a lot with writing about my kids as they…