365 Days Of Six

17 May

Bye Five. You were a constant adventure, but your services are no longer needed here . Six takes over this week. Six is bigger. Six is better. Deal with it.

The night before Aidan turns Six, she already has set her sights on a bigger number: Ten. Seriously! After her bedtime story, we played a new game. As she tapped on my hands, I extended my fingers until all ten were outstretched. My little math enthusiast wanted to tell me the age she wants to be, and she needed my ten fingers to make her point. But I tricked her. As she said, “this is the age I want to be,” I quickly lowered nine fingers. She laughed hysterically as the age she wanted to be appeared to be 1. We repeated it over and over until I finally just kept all ten fingers up so she could claim an age she won’t reach until 2015.

Sorry 7. Pass the message on to 8 and 9. My sincerest apologies. She’s thinking double digits already. That’s funny to me because she was working on triple-digit math problems for homework tonight. Really. She needed some help, but by the end she knew what she was doing.

Okay, I will encourage her eagerness to learn more challenging math, just like she’s learned to read and tackled nouns, verbs and adjectives this school year. Thanks to Christmas gifts, she also got acquainted with the names of internal organs and bones. These things I strongly support. But I will not let her push past Six until it’s time. That means I get to enjoy 365 Days of Six.

Since her mother and I separated (and later divorced), there’s been periods of time that I didn’t see her or talk to her. Sometimes those stretches lasted for days; sometimes they lasted a couple weeks. That won’t happen with Six. She and I live in the same town, and I see her nearly every day when I’m in town and not traveling to Houston or anywhere else.

Knowing it and celebrating it are two different things. So I have decided to make Six more special by documenting every day of this new age. It won’t necessarily be a journal. It could be 365 photos. Or 365 quotes from my daughter. Some piece of every day to claim, highlight and remember.

Once they’re all put together, those pieces of Six will come together like a magnificent puzzle, just like puzzle of the United States that came from Aidan’s Grandma & Grandpa. As she eagerly put it together tonight, I started thinking about a future trip  she and I could take to see all 50 states. Maybe I’ll save that for her 10th birthday.

Aidan beams after finishing a birthday puzzle from Grandma & Grandpa.

Six arrives in the morning when she awakes in the 6 o’clock hour. It will be a full day of feeling extra special. It helps that she is going to school with some superior petite cupcakes to share with her classmates. Six have icing balloons on them. Six have icing ladybugs.  Six have regular icing with sprinkles for kids who hate balloons or fear ladybugs.

The celebration doesn’t end at bedtime tomorrow night. 10 days after her actual birthday, we’ll host a dinosaur-themed birthday party for her and her 15 closest friends in the Dallas area. Thanks to her mom’s excellent taste in stationary, the invites will be customized and printed at Party City.

I expect the first ten days of Six will be mainly devoted to adjusting to calling her Six instead of Five. Then, we’ll handle each new challenge as it comes. If I learned anything from Five it was that every challenge she faces amounts to two new challenges for me: figuring out how best to respond to it and then using it a teachable moment for her.

Okay Six, I’m ready. Bring it on, and let’s be best friends forever. Don’t believe anything that Five told you.

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