Tuesday, 16 August 2016

ALMOST FIVE



A few years ago at a photo shoot I was talking to a father who had teenaged children. He said that the years seven to 11 were golden ones - that a child was able to do things on their own but hadn't reached the hormone surge of adolescence. It is one of those comments that has stuck with me, although at the moment I'm not sure I agree entirely.

So far I have really enjoyed the ages four and five. But perhaps aged four the most. Three has always been a challenge in our family. Most of our children didn't go through the terrible twos, but did have some trying moments at the age of three. With my son, who has always been quite mild tempered, this coincided with another sibling coming on the scene. And with our eldest daughter it was still only a year into her having a younger sister, which was an adjustment. So it is hard for me to separate the age of three from other factors that the children were going through.

But I enjoy living with a four year old. They are capable but still enjoy cuddles. They show signs of maturity but can be silly. They develop a real interest in learning (wanting to write and read) but are also happy to play for hours with a cardboard box (see yesterday's post).

However, when they turn five this slowly starts to change again. They need us less and want to become more independent. And this is a pattern that continues on.

There are days when I miss my eight-year-old son. He has always been independent, and in the early years of childhood this was something that I craved at times, but now it's almost as if he doesn't need us. He wakes, eats breakfast, gets dressed without fuss. He will put his bowl in the dishwasher and sometimes is even happy to help prepare his lunchbox. Now he is even catching a bus to and from school a few days a week. He can play independently and other than when he's using power tools, doesn't need our help as such. While he has been moving towards spending more time with his father, which I have read is a classic developmental stage, I have mourned him a little. He is no longer a little boy.

So as our eldest daughter is fast approaching the age of five, I feel a little sad. I'm proud of all that she has achieved and of the kind and thoughtful person she is becoming. But a part of me will also miss the little girl that she was. Such sweet sorrow.

image the indigo crew




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