Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Happy 5th Birthday, Little Arrow!

I like to write posts to the boys on their birthdays, and it is Little Arrow's 5th birthday (you can read his 1st2nd, 3rd, and 4th posts and Big Arrow's 2nd3rd4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th posts at the links.) In fact, these birthday posts are sadly becoming just about all I have time to write these days. Sigh.

Little Arrow, I just put you to bed for the last time as a 4-year-old. I think a piece of my heart broke, but then again, I'm reminded that a few days ago, I said to my husband, "I wish I could freeze time at this very moment of parenting." I love the phase you and your brother are in right now. Old enough to be fairly independent, but still full of little kid spunk and charm. (With a little bit of frequent afterschool meltdowns sprinkled on top, if we're keeping it real.)

See, you still take baths. But then you run and put your pajamas on all by yourself and sometimes even throw your dirty clothes in the laundry. (You like a tidy room, very much a credit to your orderly father.)

You still want to snuggle at bedtime, but you also typically sleep 10-11 straight hours each night. Oh, how I wish I could tell the very-tired-mom-of-two-little-ones this miracle would someday happen round about 4-5 years ago.

Also, this is the year you learned to swim. Frankly, you were probably ready last summer but I was too lazy to really make the time for that (sorry, second kid) and a 3-year-old swimming independently just seemed absurd.

Watching you at swim lessons this summer was the perfect synopsis of what I love about you. You just look at challenges and tackle them head on. You can definitely be shy, but you're also rarely intimidated. Your comfort zone is so much wider than mine, and you're very willing to step outside it often.

As a parent, I'm trying to balance my duty to protect you from danger without holding you back. Goodness, do I struggle with this. I want you within 5 feet of me on the trail of life, but you want to be 50 yards ahead, at a full sprint, just out of my line of sight.

On the last day of swim lessons, they let the kids jump off the diving board. You wanted to jump off the high dive so badly. I was terrified. You gave me a look that said, "What's the worst that could happen?" The answer was, that you would belly flop from 10 feet up, and that's exactly what you did. Ouch. I've watched this video a hundred times and still cringe:

Guess what? You marched right back up that ladder and tried again.

I've never had to push you in anything you do. YOU push ME. I'm learning so much from you, kiddo. My heart isn't breaking because you're 5. I think it's just bursting.

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