The Night Before Everything Changes

The night before my daughter turned five, I said goodnight the exact same way I do every night.  I fully expected that the next time we said goodnight everything would be different. Sometimes girls do change just that suddenly. So I relished this “final goodnight” with my little girl and tried to memorize every detail and smile as if I would have only this single moment to cling to when she was older. If I’m completely honest, I would admit I could have almost cried when I closed the door to her room and went downstairs.

Every year she gets older makes me wonder what it will be like when she’s a teenager. I don’t know why I always think about that, maybe I just worry we won’t be close.  I can’t help but think she’ll become the stereotypical teenage daughter. She already does so many things like a teenager. For example:

She locks me out of her room (only to make me say the secret password before letting me in. The secret password currently is “Happy Mother’s Day and Happy Father’s Day.”)

Her room is cluttered with junk (stuffed animals, Squinkies, and tiny plastic Mario toys that she MUST sleep with)

Our conversation is limited (I can ask her about the favorite part of her day and then she doesn’t want to talk anymore, she just wants me to read her dozens of books)

She can be very demanding (when she asks me to tickle her back or stay with her until she falls asleep)

She wants me to get out of her room (but not until I give her and her stuffed animals a hug and a kiss and we make the I love you sign to each other, tickle each other and do our special waves goodbye at the door)

She stays up late doing whatever she wants (which is playing with all of her birthday stuff and thinking about the day)

So you can see how she is pretty much already there…

Last night I was relieved when we put our now five year old daughter to bed at a much later than usual 9:40 and I told her I wouldn’t be able to read to her, she had to go right to sleep. I was trying to give her an out. But the look on her face told me nothing had changed.

She picked out a book, we talked about the favorite parts of her day, we read together, I kissed every stuffed animal I could find, we said our special “I love you’s”, waved goodbye with our hands (and feet) and I turned off the light. On the way downstairs, I could have almost cried again, this time though, out of thankfulness for such a sweet five year old little girl.

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