Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I remember being 5

I'm in new parenting territory. My oldest daughter, Z, is five years old. She's finally an age I remember being, learning to do thingsI remember mastering. Reading books under the covers after bedtime. Cooking scrambled eggs on the stove. Shedding bicycle training wheels and wobbling down the sidewalk with a parent steadying the back of the seat.

It's exciting to relive these milestone moments with the perspective of an adult and the pride of a parent, and I'd like to think I'm able to show a little
more empathy since I actually can relate (if only from the dusty cobwebs of my memories). Now, when I hear her impatient sighs from the backseat, I remember how boring and loooong even routine car rides seemed (and I thank my lucky stars she's not just screaming bloody murder any more). When she begs me to play Old Maid with her, draw with her or tell her a made-up story, I remember craving my mother's presence and how getting her full and undivided attention warmed my whole body and made me feel complete.

There are little moments too, that make me feel a bit like my own mother, interacting with my 5-year-old self. Combing the tangles from Z's hair before school ("Ow-ow-ow-ow-ow!"). Taping her artwork to the wall. Asking her to set the table and make the bed. Helping her write thank-you notes. And trying to figure out how to respond to the "So-and-so says my __________ are __________ and she won't be my best friend anymore unless I ________."

Yeah, the girlfriend drama stumped my mom, and so far I don't have all any of those answers either.

Originally posted to the Chicago Moms Blog