I know it’s not your birthday or any particular milestone, but I’m your mum and I reserve the right to be mushy at any time I like. I think it’s just this stage you’re at, which makes me feel particularly sentimental. I thought I’d write you a letter to tell you what it’s like to be your mum right now. Spoiler alert, it’s pretty cool.
You’re five and a half. You’re in pre-primary at school. You’re so little, but you’re so grown up. Your thirst for learning is amazing to me. Even though you spend five full days at school a week, you spend every other moment you’re with me asking questions about the world and how it works. You want to practice writing and drawing and finding out about numbers. Sometimes it’s exhausting and I might occasionally tell you to take a little break, but I am grateful you want to practice what you’re learning. Your enthusiasm for life in general is just amazing. I’ve learned a lot just by trying to teach you!
Something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is how special this time of your life is to me. I realise you’re growing up so fast, but you still need me in so many ways. It’s actually a pretty sweet spot. Like you can wipe your own backside (haha sorry to bring that up), dress yourself, take care of some chores (often with a bit of nagging/bribing/bargaining/disciplinary strategy haha) and play independently, but I still have an important and active/hands on role in looking after you emotionally and physically.
You jump all over me because you need to be close to me. You will spontaneously explode with “I LOVE YOU” at random times. You’ll say, “Look how much I love you, Mummy!” and you’ll reach up as far as you can, arms stretched, tippy toes in full effect.
Your eyes search for me in a crowd with such an urgency that it makes my heart want to burst (dude when you are old enough to watch the movie Lion you will understand why I bawled during it). It makes me feel so good to know that you don’t have to worry – I’m right there (in a not creepy, not too helicoptery way of course).
You want to be seen with me. You’re so proud that I’m your mum. You introduce me to people like you think I’m the most amazing person ever. Even though we both know I’m far from perfect! I mean, you’ve met me during the
bitching witching hour. You’ve seen when I’ve forgotten things for school or when we’re running late. You know I sometimes slip up and say ‘naughty’ words. Oops! We both know what’s up haha.
I know that one day you won’t even want your friends to know you have a mother so I’m treasuring this!
You can walk alone without me worrying as much as I had to during the toddler years, but you will still hold my hand and let me keep you safe. Sometimes you will put your hand in mine just because you love holding hands.
You compliment me when I wear something new. You always tell me I’m looking beautiful or pretty. Even though I will always want you to know there’s much more to a woman than her looks, it really does melt me. Never hesitate to pay compliments when you feel them bubble up inside you. We need more kind words in this world!
There’s just something so freaking endearing about seeing a little boy behaving in such grown up ways, but also needing his teddy bears, all of his sleepy toys and his cuddles with his parents.
It means so much to me that you tell me you want to grow up to be a daddy, husband and a teacher (also a rock star – I guess your mum’s taste in music has rubbed off on you a bit haha). You see all three of those things as equally important and noble. Holy shit I’d love to take credit for that, but I think this is all you and your beautiful soul. It’s so gorgeous when you look at me with a furrowed brow and say, “How am I even going to be able to do it all??”
Oh, buddy. I can’t even begin to tell you the half of it!
I know this letter might be quite flattering to your little ego, but try not to get too big a head. Don’t forget to stay humble, be a little less of a busy body, don’t throw your weight around when you’re tired, use your inside voice and CLEAN UP YOUR DAMN LEGO.
I love you so much,