This is Five

>> Monday, November 14, 2016

Right now, I have a 4-month-old babe and a 4-year-old big girl. In the next couple days, I'll have both a 5-month-old and a 5-year-old. Phew.

Of course, it's Ada's birthday that's taking center stage. Five is a biggie. It's this milestone I've been thinking about for quite some time. I hear people still call their 4-year-olds toddlers (I'm not one of them!), but when your tiny one reaches five . . . there's absolutely no denying it. You have a KID. A full-fledged kid on your hands.

The other day as I watched the news in horror about the election results, Ada was being particularly quiet and absorbed into her drawing. She loves to doodle before school as I mix up her instant oatmeal breakfast. Stephen and I were having some pretty intense discussions about the state of the country -- feeling hopeless and confused and angry (these are sentiments for another day).

And when Ada hands me a piece of paper that says "I see the house."

I suppose I had heard her in the background going "I, I, I s-sssss-seeee tt-thhhh-the how-how-house." Apparently her class is starting to write sentences at school. Whether well-practiced or not, I don't think I've ever been more proud. She beamed with confidence. I'll never forget her face!

We have been very hands-off with reading and writing at home. We read tons of books just for fun. We play around with writing letters. And we know it's important, but we also have always known that our daughter is 2, 3, 4. To us, that stuff could come in time . . . and we wanted it to come when SHE was driving the interest, not us.

Well, now that she's basically five? It's happened. She's interested in all things reading and writing. She asks how to spell words, scrawls them on the page, and then illustrates her work. Consistently for the last year she tells us she wants to be an artist. Now that she's started school, this career aspiration has morphed into art teacher. She brings home thick folders full of drawings every single day.

Anyway, I'm feeling all the feelings about Ada turning five. We are having a small party for her on Saturday. She went back and forth and back and forth on wanting or not wanting a party. In the end, I suggested she just invite a couple of her closest friends. We'll have pizza, cake, and celebrate this gigantic milestone.

She certainly has grown into quite an amazing little lady.

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