Turning 5 is Bittersweet… #nostalgia #parenting

Happy Birthday baby girl! This is my baby, my princess, my littlest child in body if not personality. And today she’s FIVE!

hiking with 5 year old

Of course I’m happy for her and love to see the smile on her face and the sparkle in her eyes as we woke her up singing Happy Birthday to You. But it’s a little bittersweet too. And I feel guilty. Guilty that I’m not 100% happy that it’s her birthday. That a part of me, a tiny medium part is sad to see her grow up.

I was prepared to be nostalgic when my kids turn 13.  Crossing the line into official rolled eyes and attitude teenagedom is a big deal after all!  That’s starting the let them just survive the next few years until their brain returns era.

I’m prepared to be nostalgic when they turn 16.  Heck, not only will their brains not have returned yet, but I’ll be setting them loose on the unsuspecting world roads.  It’s accepted to want to wrap them in bubble wrap and stop time at 16.

Then comes 18 with the  – they are adults now and the associated thought that they are all grown up – not true of course, but it will skim the surface of my thoughts I’m sure.

Onward to 21 and legal drinking age, graduation from college, setting out to make their mark on the world.  I imagine I won’t want to bubble wrap them then – that will be exciting to see what they decide to do with their lives.

But 5?  Five I’m supposed to be glad she can dress herself and isn’t in diapers, is old enough to stop the money vampire aka daycare go to school all day, and can entertain herself for more than 2 minutes.

Five is the beginning of the sweet spot ages – those years when the kids still think you know everything, enjoy your company, and have that great sense of magic and play.

So why am I whining over here?

All of her milestones are the last time I will experience them.

The last time I’ll teach my kid to ride a bike without training wheels:

Ride a 2 Wheel Bike

The last time I’ll introduce her to the gooey mess of smores.  The last time I’ll make a cake for a 5 year old birthday party.

Barbie Birthday Cake

The last time I’ll register a child for Kindergarten, sign one up for peewee anything, or introduce her to the magic of Disney.

So, while I’m happy to see her thrive and grow and learn, I’m a little sad too.

But after some wallowing reflection, I’ve decided that this bittersweet feeling is a blessing.

It’s a reminder to stay present, to appreciate the small moments, to celebrate whenever possible because childhood is fleeting and the magic this child brings to my life is precious and I only get one shot at it.

Happy Birthday baby girl!  Thank you for choosing me to be your Mom.  I love you!!




8 Responses to Turning 5 is Bittersweet… #nostalgia #parenting

  1. I know, I wrote about Kindergarten, ‘one last time.’ Love the photos, she’s a beauty just like her mama. Love the cake! You’re more brave than I! Fondant? Whoa!

  2. Happy birthday! I have been feeling this way a little bit with my little one. It seems to be the last of everything but it is really the first of everything I need to focus on.

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