Now that the party, presents and celebratory eating out is over, reality is setting in — I am the mother of a six year-old. Whaaat?!
Getting used to saying I was someone’s mom in the first place was surreal to me. I was a first time mom at thirty-six and up to that point I was just “me.” For years there was no other title I held which connected me to anyone else other than myself.
I am convinced the reason we keep track of babies ages in months is so parents can slowly get used to being a parent, month by month. Once I was familiar with responding to being “Azul’s mom,” it was easy, I was his and he was mine, and like most parents, I wore my title with pride. I had no problem admitting I was a mom, not to mention I had an infant on my teat most of the day, so that kind of gave it away.
The transition from being a parent of an infant to toddler is an easy one, saying “my one year-old” is just as easy as saying “my two year-old” or “my three year-old.” Then there is four. This is the point where you realize that your baby is a little person and a personality starts to show (or rears its ugly head). Personality warps into budding independence and all of a sudden you have a “five year-old.” Looking back, this all seems to happen in the blink of an eye, but the fact remains, your connection to your child is still there, they are still just little guys who need you and you need them.
Your parenting grows with your child and both of you are still experiencing something new together. When you are five years into parenting, that’s exactly what it is, five years, a parent of a five year-old, and you think, “not bad, I’ve done this for five years,” with some sense of accomplishment. I’m not sure if it is the number or age or both, but at six something changes. Your baby is going to Kindergarten and is SIX! And the real kicker, not only is your child now six years old, you are six years older too. Ugh!
Azul is six and in school all day and I am forty-two! What happened? Is this what a mid-life or mid-parenting crisis feels like? Where did the time go?
I am sure there are more mid-parenting (although “mid” is deceiving) crises to come, but right now all I can do is let it sink in…I am the mother of a six year-old.
Today I turn 41. I don’t feel any excitement or disappointment in 41, it is what it is. But, I remember the first time I did feel old, it was not the last, but of course your first is always the most memorable. It was the summer of 2007; I was only thirty-four, just months before I turned thirty five. It was an extremely hot day and I was outside with my best friend Ann Dee and her family. It was the day of her dad’s funeral and burial. It was an old family plot, mostly dust and sand, and the family was responsible for digging the grave. I’m not sure when the miscalculations took place, but when it was time to lower the coffin into the ground, it didn’t fit. So, as you could imagine, it was uncomfortably funny and the coffin had to be pulled out and more dirt dug out of the tight space. Again, it was an extremely hot day and while we waited for what seemed like an eternity for a proper goodbye, I was standing by Ann Dee supporting her in her time of need. That’s when it happened — I felt a bead of sweat slowly rolling down the back of my leg. It was a funeral, so I was wearing a skirt; it was summer time so I was not wearing tights, and obviously the skin on skin contact from my butt cheeks to my thigh was too much. That was the moment I knew I was getting old.