Everyday my eager 5 year old wakes up with a grin from ear to ear, happy to greet the morning.
Eggs, toast, and the Disney channel fulfil her morning.
Patterned leggings, a tutu, and a shimmery t-shirt outfits her, with of course an adorable pair of shoes.
Pig tails, or braid, for mommy to do, and when I am not quick enough I get a brush waving in my face.
11am hits the clock.
And the earth shattering words of “get ready, your bus is coming soon” hits her ears.
Suddenly, my eager grin bearing independent lady isn’t so eager any more.
“I wish I was a baby again”.
“I’ll go to school tomorrow, but not today”.
“Life was so easy when I was little”.
As much as I want to laugh at her, and of course give her mom cuddles and save the day by letting her stay home, what exactly would I be teaching her?
Unfortunately, life is hard.
We all grow up.
Now I’m not saying that I am forcing my baby to grow up quicker than she needs to, but I can’t coddle her either.
We all have a job.
A task we must fulfil.
And her task is preschool from 12pm to 3pm. In those moments, she gets to feed her brain, to learn, and to be introduced to things outside of her world at home that I can’t necessarily do for her.
In those small three hours she is learning what sharing is, and that she is able to ask other people for help. She is learning that other people outside of mom and dad say no. She is learning that there are other children who are equally as important as her.
The thing is, my daughter has hearing loss.
She has a speech impediment.
So although I would love to keep her home, safe in my arms, away from the harsh world, I know that the more I shelter her, and the more I try to prevent her from being hurt, that when it does happen it will hurt more.
She’s going to be made fun of.
Children, even adults are going to make fun of her.
I have a hard time accepting that. But truth is, even at my age I still get made fun of. I think that because I know the pain she is going through that I want to protect her even more, but I know I can’t.
Every time she cry’s that she wishes she was a baby again, I want to cry with her.
She may know that preschool is tough for a 5 year old. But what she doesn’t know is that when she has her first crush that he may tease her, and say eww. She doesn’t know that one day her face may be dressed with acne, and she may go through a chubby period where she gets made fun of. Middle school is going to make or break her, she’s is going to learn about sex, and drugs, and all scary things for a parent, that’s going to be tough. High school is going to come, she’s going to be learning who she is, she’s going to lose friends and find out who her real friends are, school is going to be challenging, she’s going to be faced with temptation and the struggles of being a teenager, and that all is going to be hard.
Seeing her cry about not wanting to grow up breaks me.
I don’t want her to grow up.
I want to lay on the couch, wrap her in my arms, and coddle her. I want to breathe in the sweet smell of her bubble gum shampoo, and talk about all things Shopkins, and Sophia the first.
My task is letting her spread her wings, and her job is to take off soaring.