there is something about age six that is...magical. it's this intoxicating mix of your kid growing and becoming more independent while still remaining your baby.
our oldest turned six in march and since then it has been a whirlwind of "growth" moments. there's all the things that used to invoke a "come with me, mama" or "do it with me, mama" whine --ice skating, swimming, going to the bathroom at a restaurant -- that she now does without hesitation on her own.
there's the fact that her opinions are actually logical now and not just the mad ramblings of a toddler/preschooler. there's that she actually has this wicked, biting sense of humor that has me doubled over on a daily basis. there's that we laugh at the same stuff. and not just poops and farts either, although that stuff is still way funny.
there's that she buckles her little brother (the older one) up in the car when it's time to run errands. there's that she comforts the baby when he's crying by making funny faces. there's that she tells her brother to hold hands when it's time to cross the street. there's that she can read and we don't have much longer where we can spell things we don't want her to understand.
there's that she simply gets it more than not these days. she sort of understands a lot of how things work in our little world and her place in it.
like I said...magical.
and along with this magical age comes a new emotion for this mother: pride. i see her grow and discover and become. and I'm proud. to think...she actually came out of me. i actually gave birth to this chatty little creature. a short six years ago, i was nursing her tiny, wrinkled, red little self. and look at her now. i was excited when she rolled over for the first time as an infant, took her first steps, said her first word...but, man, seeing her read, swim, ask the waitress for more ketchup on her own? it's those first teeny tiny steps she's taking to not needing me anymore...and, just like every mom before me, i'll miss it when she's grown up, but i'll know it's right when she's not clinging to me anymore. and good.
watching her do all these things, i can also picture her leaving home for college, but just for a split second. then I push the thought away. she may be doing all these crazy, wonderful new things by herself, but she's also still holding tightly onto my arm as we walk to the park.
for now, still my baby.