It was a marathon of celebration. Five full days. Almost a week. Celebrating and singing and scootering and blowing out the candles. Of being six.
And now she’s snuggled up beside me. Snuggled. Beside me. Watching a movie but practically in my lap. Because even though she’s six, she’s still my baby. And the only remedy to this birthday hangover is a little Mama love.
And I’m totally okay with that.
As she snuggles me, exhausted, practically lethargic, I think of the past six years. Everything I’ve learned. The trial and error. The many errors. The hugs and songs and giggles and time outs and snacks and spilled sippy cups. The tears. And fights. The sleepless nights and silly faces and one more book.
The pure joy.
I think of all the lessons I’m supposed to teach her - how to write her name, tie her shoe, bathe, feed herself. I’m to instill confidence and encourage her to dream. Keep her safe. Teach her to love. Herself. Her family and friends. Her God.
But of all those lessons. Of all that wisdom I am to empart. It is she who teaches me. I learn from her each day. These lessons so pure and real and humbling. Here are six lessons I’ve learned from my six year old -
1. Baths are not optional. Neither is teeth brushing. It’s just gross. Feels gross. Smells gross. And turns off those around you. Personal hygiene is imperative and NO! you can’t wait one more night once you get to big kid school. So stay clean. Because if you don’t, you get an embarrassing note sent home.
2. Everyone has a talent. Talents come in all shapes and sizes. Talent has a loose definition - and it is imperative that you embrace the many different talents of those around you. Even the talents you just picked up today. Because everyone has something to offer. Recognizing and encouraging the gifts of those around you is important. It makes them better. And you better. And thus, the world better.
3. Celebrate. Everything. Nothing is too big or too small to celebrate. Decorations. Sweet treats. High fives. Life is short. There are no guarantees. So celebrate when you can. Because it’s hard not to be happy when there’s an impromptu dance party. Or a pinata.
4. Pink and pink match. In the grand scheme of life - let her dress herself. This isn’t about picking out a matching outfit. Or brushing her hair. It’s about self expression. And confidence. And figuring out how to approach the world. Sometimes, pink and pink do match. And it may be overkill. But it’s necessary.
5. Growing pains suck. There are two types of growing pains: the physical hurt of the body growing and the internal emotional pains of understanding the world. Neither are fun. Both hurt. Yet, it’s amazing the healing powers of chocolate ice cream.
6. Weird is cool. It’s hard to be yourself. Especially when yourself is a little different. Your drum is a little off. Your vision of the world around you is a bit skewed. You may need to remind yourself that weird is cool. Because conformity never changed the world. So be yourself - the weirder the better. One day, that quirk will be cool.
Happy birthday baby girl. Thank you for teaching me more than I could ever imagine.