Every morning begins the same. The recounting of the countdown. Zack announces in the wee hours of the morning, before the sun greets and he has wiped the sand from his eyes, that his birthday is coming. Lest I forget. Gone are the days when I would crack that every one's birthday is coming, that I made light of the impending day. BECAUSE SIX IS SERIOUS BUSINESS. Turning six has become a household obsession.
Six strikes me funny. I have never considered myself one of those Moms who holds on too tight; I didn't cry when Zack finished preschool and I held a brave face when he boarded the bus for kindergarten. He rode the short bus when he was 3 and 30 pounds - I did crack on the phone with Greg after I told him he was off because he looked so darn vulnerable in his car seat. Kindergarten felt like a gift. Zack was moving on to school without an IEP and all I could feel was gratitude.
Six feels like a turning point, that we are leaving babyhood behind. Soon both kids will be off to school all day and I will have kept my promise to be here with them, in those early years. Most days I am unapologetic about reclaiming a little independence. I've earned it. But I get a little soft sometimes, prophetic. Someday I bet I will long for these days, when the kids were small and I occupied their private world. Such is motherhood.