gravity, and growing garlic: life with a five year old

My focus has shifted in the last week.
I’ve gone from stressing about assignments and studying for exams, to relishing time with my smallest human.
Last night I snuggled in with her to tuck her in to bed. Our faces touched, and she gave me the obligatory lizard-lick on my nose – it’s become nightly ritual!
“What shall we do together tomorrow, you and I, my babe?”
“I don’t know but I just love having a mummy day with you.”
I don’t know when my baby got to be five years old but it makes me nostalgic and excited and relieved and sad all at once. Next year she’ll be at school with her siblings, every day.

Today I paid attention. I was deeply aware of her presence. From the way she did things on her own, to the freckle beneath her left eye, to her weird and wonderful chatter. 
We have had conversations about gravity, and growing garlic. She tells me that she runs the fastest in her class and I can’t tell if she’s exaggerating or not so I roll with it. 
She is both fiercely independent and headstrong, and overwhelmingly sensitive – often all in the space of 3 minutes, and most instances of these involve shoes and her disdain at how they feel on her feet. Today, only one such shoe incident and it was cut short by the offer of the beach, and her haste to find both mermaids – one for her little cousin. 
I love the way she loves so big. Her brother and her sister are both the recipients of snuggles and adoration. Her little cousins are her delight and her best friends are her world. 
And part of my role is to nurture her strengths and give her courage to live brave. 

The years with all my little ones at home felt never-ending – I could never see the horizon.
And now it’s suddenly that horizon upon us, and I’m making sure I’m present. Remembering moments, recording days and noticing their beauty. 

We spend them unrushed. 
She holds the peg basket while I take down the dry washing, and offers assistance to scrub, or vacuum or distract the dog.
She slows down too, and I see her paying attention to the moment.
“Mum, when someone doesn’t work and their kids don’t go to school, and then they stay home with their kids, then the kids are their company aren’t they?”
“Yes, exactly. I love your company.” Smile.


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