Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Out of a Box

My five-year old’s been eying this box. As she ate her lunch one day this week, I could see that her creative mind was coming up with all sorts of crafts or uses for the empty mail order box that was still on the table.

I love the way her imagination works and comes up with all sorts of uses for items that would otherwise get used for recycling. Maybe it’ll be a house, maybe it will be a car or a very large purse!

Yet I miss some aspects of her pre-preschooler years. Children under five have an innate understanding and relationship with God which in our adulthood we often work to get back to. I’m missing the automatic thanksgiving and joyful bliss that she would have at a new experience. When I sewed something for her, there was excitement and big smiles. Mostly there still is. I made her pants for the ghost costume she didn’t end up wearing and a Sponge Bob pillow and she couldn’t be more jubilant. But then there was her ballet skirt. The week before she’d been able to wear a frilly skirt from her closet since the new ballet skirt wasn’t ready and her old one was too small. As I proudly held out the newly finished skirt to her, the whiny response was: “Can’t I wear the red one?” (You likely have a good idea of how this Parent responded to that one! Pink skirt is now worn quite happily to dance class)

Then there was flu shot time. Last year my four-year-old stood in line for hours for the H1N1 shot at our local community centre. We’d prepared her that it was a small jab. It would be fine. Other kids wailed. Our little girl remained calm and took her shot bravely, not a peep out of her. This year, however, there was wailing and gnashing of teeth as soon as I said we were going. You see, boys in her peer group had gone on and on about how painful the flu shot was. So this year my girl was scared. I tried reasoning with her, the nurses tried all sorts of kind, rational words. Finally, I just told the nurse to go ahead.

Afterwards, I asked: “Did it hurt?” No, she said, grinning with her lollipop. What are we going to say to boys who tell us such stories another time? “It doesn’t hurt.”

So….I know with age five begins the important development of ego and the influence of other people and beginning for her to determine what she thinks herself and what is best for her. Children teach us that parenting is a lot of adjusting. I remember the past fondly yet…

The other night, Joel picked her up from the day home as I started into supper. She came through the door and the first words out of her mouth were: “I love you, Mommy.” Actually, I think I really enjoy 5. As I’ll enjoy age 6. And before that…there’s a box for which its new purpose is yet to be revealed.

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