Tuesday, July 15

Thoughts on Five

My Things turn 5 tomorrow -- five. The big V. A half of a decade. 60 months. 1826 days.

I told Thing 2 tonight that we were having our last blessings of 4 and tomorrow we'd be having blessings of a 5-year-old. She burst out crying. She doesn't want to be 5, she wants to be 4. "I really like 4," she said, crying in her big girl princess bed. I tried to tell her 5 was the same as four but you get to do more stuff. She asked what stuff, but I couldn't really think of anything to say except that she gets to go to Kindergarten, but that made her cry harder.

Thing 1 jumped in, "I don't want to go to Kindergarten either, so if we stay 4, can we go back to PreK?" Ugh. Growing up is hard to do.

I struggled to figure out something comforting to say, but truth be told, I'm not quite ready for the fives either. I told them that their skin would still taste like corn on the cob (an inside joke), that they'd still have the same house, bed, family and friends and that I'd love them just the same. They laughed and wanted to be tucked into bed like babies, side by side, foregoing their big kid beds in lieu of huddling next to each other.

Age 4 has been such a blessing. Four is better than 3 for twins; it's better than 2 and a fricking truckload better than 1 (are you kidding me, I can't believe they or I survived that year). Four has been a year of crazy growth -- separate bedrooms, independence from each other, separate classrooms, some separate friends, separate playdates, learning to read and write and dance alone in their bedrooms. Four has been a year of reciprocal love from my Things that I had not expected to have, a compassion I was surprised to see and a burst of personality that makes me laugh hard, think often and keeps my sorry old 37-year-old ass in line.

My Thing 1 grew in manly ways -- focusing on sports with a fury. His obsessions of all things sports seemed far beyond his four years -- passion for Joe Thornton and the Sharks (memorizing their team numbers, stats and positions); gaining cult status at the barber shop for knowing and feeling crazed about the NFL playoffs, the Patriots and his beloved Peyton Manning; refusing to take off his LiveStrong bracelet after learning about Lance Armstrong, then following it up with giving out friendship bracelets to his sister, LaGringa and me, telling us that this was our family LiveStrong bracelet. I NEVER took mine off until Thing 1 finally did after over two months.

My sweet, strong Thing 2 lives to be a Garza -- she is all girl, the real kind of girl. Thing 2 blew me away as a 4-year old for knowing what she wants completely consistently, without abandon and with complete focus. Her dedication to dance, (she led her ballet recital with all the girls following her -- right or unique -- steps); her absolutely unfaltering dedication to family through letters, thoughts, articulation of feeling and their complexity always, without fail brings La Gringa and me to tears instantly (La Gringa does this hand wave thing when she starts to cry over Thing 2's compassion); her never ending ability to befriend a peer in need from an Autistic child to younger oglers and meet them on a level they can understand. She blows my mind -- her 4-year-old heart literally stops mine.

So we're onto the 5ives tomorrow. I can only pray that it brings as much joy as 4 has. In front of us is school and bilingual education and independence from each other. We'll be looking at their different interests in sports, friends and their completely different views on life.

I've got some goals for them, but only a few solid ones. Here they are:
1. Make sure we keep our morning "cuddle time," even if they use it as an excuse to watch TV in our bed. :)
2. Open their worlds just enough to grow and be there enough to make them feel safe in it.
3. Watch American Gladiators and Iron Chef America together still -- it's a silly common ground! Don't laugh, I mean it! :)
4. Try to keep "favorite part of your day" dinner conversation every night like we've done for two years now.
5. Let them be 5. Nothing more. Nothing less. And don't forget to be 5 with them sometimes too.

Happy Birthday Things. I love you in ways I never knew it was possible to love.

-- Mommy