Thursday, April 23, 2015

Six


Ryan turned six in January and I honestly have difficulty remembering his babyness. Sometimes his little sister does or says something, and I ask - was Ryan ever like that? I've reached the stage where my memories of his baby days come to me in broad strokes, with little detail.

I cannot recall anything about Ryan's babyhood which was difficult or which stressed me out. I'm sure that there were some bad days but right now, the memories I have are only of good ones. Perhaps I'm a big picture sort of person, perhaps there weren't many bad days to begin with. Perhaps again, it's just the way mothers are wired. We forget the hard days and we let go of the stressful times. What's left is all good.

In the same way that I enjoyed Ryan's babyhood, I am enjoying the six year old version. He is as easygoing as he has always been, which is to say that he is easygoing towards other people - he is still fussy about his food! He's fun to be with, he's got lots of love to give, he's loyal to his friends and family, he listens to reason, and he can hold an intelligent conversation. Biased I may be, I think he's a great kid.

There are bad days, but they are few and far between and, to be fair, those days are only bad because I didn't handle them better. Parenting a six year old isn't quite the same as parenting a baby, eh? Ah well, the bad days are never a waste. Bad days teach us to make better decisions; they point us in the right direction. I'm learning as I go along and I'm aware and grateful that, with Ryan, it really isn't that difficult.

Just today, someone guessed that Ryan is five. It took me a second to consider whether to correct her or not - part of me is still amazed that six years have flashed past - but I did correct her. Because it's important to Ryan that he's six. He goes around telling everyone that he's six. It's his special number (until he turns seven, of course). He loves being six. (He loved being five too, actually.) Six is when you say goodbye to your schoolmates. Six is when you start anticipating going to "the big school". Six is when you finally tell your mummy, "I'm not a baby". Six is when you start believing, truly believing, that you are someone's big brother. Six is when you have thoughtful opinions about the world around you. Six is a big thing.

And yes, it's important to me too. I wanted her to know that I've had this amazing child for six wonderful years. I may have trouble recalling the bad bits, yes. Be that as it may, there are, overwhelmingly, so many good bits in those years, so much happiness and joy, so much laughter and love, so much personal growth and learning (on my part as well as Ryan's), that I wouldn't discount a single day. Six years old? Yes, oh yes.

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